It was honours even at Pride Park as Boro collected a point from a 0-0 stalemate with Derby County.
Neil Warnock’s men will have felt they deserved more from a game in which they were the better side, but Boro were unable to find the killer touch in front of goal and the all-important winner.
Over 2,000 travelling fans had livened up a half-empty Pride Park and they did their best to spur the team on in the closing stages, but as it was Boro headed back to Teesside with another point in the bank.
The first half of the contest had offered little in the way of entertainment. There was plenty of honest industry, but little fluency to proceedings.
Kelle Roos spread himself well to deny Uche Ikpeazu with Boro’s best chance of the opening period while at the other end Joe Lumley had to be at full stretch to turn away a Max Bird free-kick.
It was a stop-start affair with free-kicks aplenty, and it wasn’t until the second half that Boro started to take a grip of the game.
Warnock’s side started firmly on the front foot, applying some good pressure, and Roos denied Ikpeazu for a second time after some good work from the Boro midfield. The big striker also headed wide from a Paddy McNair free-kick.
Lumley was called upon to make a great save to deny Louie Sibley and he also had to recover well to turn the follow-up over the bar, but otherwise Boro always looked the most likely.
The moment appeared to come when Jonny Howson ghosted in with a header at the far post, but Roos again reacted well to deny the Boro substitute. The Derby goalkeeper also did well when McNair got to the by-line and whipped a low ball back across goal.
With seven minutes remaining, Matt Crooks came within a whisker of breaking the deadlock when he beat Roos but couldn’t beat the woodwork, and the ball hit the top of the bar.
Derby: Roos, Byrne, Forsyth, Shinnie, Jagielka, Jozwiak (Buchanan 84), Bird, Baldock (Watson 72), Morrison, Sibley (Stretton 64), Davies.
Subs: Allsop, Stearman, Hutchinson, Williams.
Boro: Lumley, Peltier (Howson 58), Fry, McNair, Bola, Morsy, Dijksteel, Crook, Tavernier, Jones, Ikpeazu (Coburn 80).
Subs: Daniels, Hall, Payero, Olusanya, Spence.
Referee: Andy Daviesd
Att: TBC (2,164 Boro)