Boro came away from our second friendly match of pre-season with another win and more minutes in the bank.
There were plenty of Boro fans at the Kimberley Stadium, and a good portion of the Teesside contingent were celebrating what they thought was the opener inside five minutes - but Marcus Tavernier’s vicious shot had crashed into the side netting.
The midfielder was involved again a few minutes later, his well-weighted first-time pass finding Duncan Watmore who sent an effort curling narrowly over.
The hosts showed plenty of fight, and twice threatened from corners as the half progressed with no let-up in the summer heat.
Boro then took the lead when Watmore delivered a low cross from the left flank - just too much on it for Uche Ikpeazu to find the right connection but Paddy McNair was following in to tuck home.
The advantage, though, was short-lived. Sam Morsy was adjudged to have handled in his own area, and Dave Barker made no mistake from the spot, firing the hosts level.
Neil Warnock’s side came close to restoring the winning margin moments before the break, but Grant Hall’s powerful header was superbly kept out by United’s goalkeeper Ryan Rickard.
The second half began with a trio of Boro subs; Connor Malley, Lewis Wing and Chuba Akpom replacing Morsy, Watmore and Ikpeazu.
Tavernier was following them off the field shortly after, replaced by Isaiah Jones soon after being on the receiving end of an industrious challenge from a United defender.
Rickard was once more called to action to deny Akpom from a tight angle after the ball fell the striker’s way, and the goalkeeper again denied Boro when he tipped over a dipping Lewis Wing effort.
More changes followed, including a clean sweep of changes in the Boro backline, with Sol Brynn, Djed Spence, Nathan Wood, Jack Robinson and Hayden Coulson all coming on, as well as Hayden Hackney in central midfield.
Boro’s search for a goal went on, Jones delivering a teasing cross from deep on the left which Akpom couldn’t get a toe to before a swerving volley from Wing was beaten away by Rickard. Young winger Jones then had his own opportunity to get on the scoresheet, but he diverted a cross from Jeremy Sivi wide of the target at the back post.
Eventually, the pressure told. Rickard was not to be beaten - he was substituted moments before what proved to be the winner - but his replacement was left picking the ball out of the net when Wing span his marker on the edge of the area before rifling into the bottom corner.
Boro could well have added more in the closing stages, and the best of the chances fell to Akpom, who squirmed between two defenders into space before rolling wide of the target.