Boro signed off our week in the south west with a friendly win over League One Plymouth.
Having completed the formalities of his move earlier in the day, Matt Crooks was on the scoresheet in the first half, and Marcus Tavernier sealed the win in the second after Plymouth had equalised from a corner.
Boro took a few minutes to get to grips with the game, Plymouth energetic in the early stages without any really threatening moments. Then it was our turn to get on the front foot.
Jamie Paterson, on trial with the Teessiders, had the first clear-cut chance, a defensive lapse allowing him to advance on goal before hitting a low effort which was well saved by Michael Cooper.
Tavernier, initially deployed at left wing-back, created the next opportunity when he drifted out to the right, whipping in a deep cross which was glanced wide off the head of Uche Ikpeazu.
The breakthrough came inside quarter of an hour. Ikpeazu was involved again, as was Sam Morsy, a well worked series of passes which ended with the former pulling the ball back for Crooks to get his head over the ball and strike low into the bottom corner.
Plymouth went looking for a swift rebuttal, Luke Jephcott bending one narrowly over Joe Lumley’s crossbar. The hosts then briefly had the ball in the net, but only after the linesman’s flag had been raised as Joe Edwards burst in behind.
For Boro, Sam Morsy dragged a speculative low shot wide, and Paddy McNair and Tavernier both had promising strikes blocked, but the single goal was all that separated the sides going in at the break.
The next goal went the home team’s way, Argyle finding a way back in just as the second half turned ten minutes old. Conor Grant swung a corner onto the head of Macauley Gillesphey for the defender to bring the scores level.
Boro freshened things up following the equaliser, with Isaiah Jones immediately on for Paterson, and Jeremy Sivi and Chuba Akpom replacing Duncan Watmore and Uche Ikpeazu up top.
The changes almost reaped instant rewards. Crooks sprang a counter attacking chance, feeding Chuba Akpom at speed, who in turn laid on Tavernier - moved into an advanced role following the introduction of Jones - but his drive flew over the crossbar.
Tavernier wouldn’t take long to make amends. Soon after, the midfielder started a give and go with Sivi before striding forward and slamming left-footed into the bottom corner.
Akpom saw another shot deflected wide, but that was about as close to another goal as the game came, with both sides taking the opportunity to share the minutes around and make several changes, Djed Spence, Nathan Wood, Lee Peltier, Hayden Hackney and Connor Malley all seeing match action as the game drew to a conclusion.