Warm sunshine and a cooling breeze greeted the players as they emerged from the tunnel, Boro all in red, Getafe all in blue.

Just the West Stand was open, but that contained healthy numbers who watched an even paced start to the game.

Early chances fell to Boro as a Stewart Downing free-kick fell to Albert Adomah who shot just wide, a miss-hit cross from George Friend made life difficult for goalkeeper Guaita, a better cross from Friend, set up by Downing, caused even more problems before Downing shot at Martin from the edge of the box.

Downing, loudly applauded at the start of the game, was at the heart of most creative things and a low cross from the right fizzed through the box just ahead of Kike.

Pablo Sarabia seemed to pull the creative strings for Getafe but it was a shot from the edge of the box from Pedro Leon that just cleared the bar.

It took 10 second half minutes for Boro to find a way through, but that they did with a beautifully worked move that ended with a Downing pass to Kike and curling finish from a confident striker 11 yards out.

Boro almost made it two a few minutes later when Downing cut in from the right and brought a flying save from Guaita with a shot from the edge of the box.

The usual raft of substitutions on both sides allowed plenty to stretch their legs, Downing one of those to make way, leaving the field to rich applause as he was replaced by recent loan signing Diego Fabbrini.

The Italian's first touch enthused the crowd as he wriggled past a couple of challenges, so too a bursting run from Carayol on his first game at the Riverside since returning from a cruciate ligament operation.

Late in the game there was a cameo from the latest Boro recruit, 21-year-old central defender Jack Stephens who saw out the final few minutes following his season-long loan transfer from Southampton late yesterday afternoon.

Middlesbrough: 
Konstantopoulos (Mejias 46); Kalas (Nsue 68), Ayala (Stephens 86), Fry (Jackson 86), Friend (Husband 86), Adomah (Wildschut 77), Clayton (Maloney 77), Leadbitter (Forshaw 68), Reach (Carayol 77), Downing (Fabbrini 68), Kike.

Getafe: 
Guaita; Alexis, Vergini (Lago 86), Medhi Lacen, Vazquez, Sarabia (Moi Gomez 72), Emi Buendia (Medran 62), Martin (Arcas 86), Leon (Campos 72), Suarez, Rodriguez (Lafita 62). Unused subs: Megyeri (gk); Bispo, Cala, Alberto, Carbonell, Galan,  Mbaka, Gil.

Referee Tony Harrington

Bookings
Boro None
Getafe None

Attendance 6,107

Conditions Mild and breezy