Boro’s Under-23s made it two successive wins after despatching Norwich City at Bishop Auckland on Sunday.

Two goals from Joe Gibson and one from Toyosi Olusanya settled matters, but it could have ended up far more comfortable than the 3-2 scoreline suggested.

Boro started well and should have been out of sight way before half-time.

Chances came and went during a dominant first half and had Boro been three or four goals to the good by the interval it wouldn’t have been unjust.

Connor Malley and Gibson could have had a couple each in the first half. Malley had one deflected wide and sent another off target when clean through.

Gibson headed wide from a George Gitau cross, had another couple of efforts deflected just wide, and then rattled the bar moments before Boro took the lead.

Ben Beals also went close during the first half while Olusanya was denied by Norwich goalkeeper Dylan Berry in a one-on-one after Boro broke quickly following a Norwich attack.

Just as it looked like Boro were going to pay the price for some wastefulness, Olusanya broke the deadlock four minutes before the break with a. wonderful curling effort from 25 yards.

The second half was a more scrappy affair, but Sonny Finch came close when he headed a Malley cross over the top and Gibson made no mistake in grabbing the goal he deserved.

Gibson cut in from the right before drilling the ball across Berry and into the far corner.

There was still time for a twist, though, when Norwich somehow found a way through for Tom Dickson-Peters to pull a goal back late on.

As the clock ticked down, Berry was at full stretch to deny Pharrell Willis, but Gibson rounded things off with a tremendous strike to put the game beyond doubt.

In the dying moments, Beals made one terrific goal-line clearance and Oliver Swan made a good save, but Norwich did pull back a second consolation in the 93rd minute.