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EFL Championship

St. Andrew's Stadium


George Saville struck late to secure Boro a priceless win at Coventry City.

Supersub Saville struck two minutes from time as Neil Warnock's men picked up three precious points in the hunt to stay among the play-off challengers.

The win showed Boro's fighting spirit after falling an early goal behind in the contest before Grant Hall had popped up to net his first goal for the club.

Having drawn with close rivals Cardiff last Saturday, Boro needed a win at St Andrew's to keep in touch with the top six in the Championship.

Warnock had made three changes from the side which drew at the weekend - Chuba Akpom, Djed Spence and Neeskens Kebano all coming in, and he was also boosted by the return of Yannick Bolasie on the subs bench after injury. 

Boro didn’t get off to the best of starts with Coventry taking the lead after 10 minutes. Max Biamou was able to profit from a ball into the box when he bundled it over the line to score an untidy opener.

That sparked the visitors into life and after Akpom had a header scrambled clear Spence got in behind and delivered a good pull-back for Kebano, whose shot was blocked.

Boro were level shortly before the break though. Paddy McNair delivered a superb free-kick from the right-hand touchline and Hall got up well at the far post to head home his first goal for the club.

And it took a brilliant piece of defending to prevent Boro from taking the lead before the half-time whistle. Marc Bola did well to tee up Jonny Howson and the skipper was denied only by a last-ditch block to keep the scores level.

Coventry goalkeeper Ben Wilson was called into action when he had to react to punch clear an in-swinging corner from Marcus Tavernier and the Boro midfielder also had a shot blocked as Warnock’s side looked to apply some pressure.

Tavernier also picked out Kebano with a free-kick, but the Boro loan man was forced out wider than he would have liked and was unable to slip the ball back across goal.

With the game inside the final quarter, Warnock made a triple change with Duncan Watmore, Marvin Johnson, and Bolasie all stepping off the bench as the boss sought a spark for the final stages.

As the clocked ticked down further, he introduced Saville and the midfielder's arrival paid dividends when a Howson cross was deflected inside the six-yard box and the Boro sub was able to convert from close range.

Saville was also involved when he teed up Bolasie in stoppage time, but the loan man's shot went into the side-netting, his cry of 'oh my days' could be heard around the ground.

The win moved Boro back to within three points of sixth place in the Championship.