A Nathan Collins goal condemned Boro to defeat from a hard fought encounter at Stoke City. Collins struck early in the first half for the Potters to give them a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. 

Neil Warnock’s side showed plenty of guts and fighting spirit and dominated the latter stages of what was by and large a drab and stop-start affair.

After Collins’ opener for Stoke, Marcus Bettinelli had to react well to save Chuba Akpom’s defensive header which was towards his goal. 

Boro came within a whisker of levelling before half-time, as Marvin Johnson had a shot saved and George Saville followed up by rattling the post.

Stoke started the second period on the front foot, and Warnock made a triple change on the hour mark with Britt Assombalonga, Duncan Watmore, and Patrick Roberts all joining the fray. 

Bettinelli was again called into action to make a good save from Tyrese Campbell, and as Boro broke, a ricocheted cross went behind off Stoke man Fox. From the resultant corner, Saville glanced Paddy McNair’s excellent delivery just over the top.

Boro appeared to have good claims for a penalty when Stoke failed to clear their lines and Dael Fry’s volleyed shot may have been blocked by a hand in the melee.

The Teessiders applied increasing pressure as the game wore on, but Stoke were dogged and resolute and held on for the win.