Burrell scored the only goal of the game shortly before half-time to secure Boro U23s victory against Fulham at the Riverside.

Of equally good news was the return of Shotton to competitive action. He came through unscathed and will feature again in the 23s next week before stepping back up.

It was a steady workout for the returning first teamer, and for long periods Boro were fairly comfortable and untroubled against the London side.

The bulk of the chances came in the first half. Tyrone O’Neill headed wide from a Sam Folarin cross, and Daniel Dodds was denied from distance by a good save from Magnus Norman.

Folarin was also denied by Norman when through on goal, and the visiting goalkeeper also pulled off a terrific save to deny Shotton. 

The goal came when the hardworking Dodds played a smart reverse ball to Burrell, who slipped it neatly underneath the goalkeeper.

Fulham's opportunities were few and far between. A good block from Dodds denied Sylvester Jasper, and they also hit the inside of the post during the second half.

Shotton completed his planned hour and was replaced by Under-18 Joe Gibson for the final 30 minutes of the contest, and as the clock ticked

Boro: Brynn, Dodds, Robinson, Shotton (Gibson 60), Wood, Dale, Wearne, Hackney, Burrell, O’Neill, Folarin (Balde 75). Subs: Sykes, Cornet, Flatters.

Fulham: Norman, Fossey, Drameh, De Havilland, Asare, Macavoy, Carvalho, Davis, Tiehi, Taylor-Crossdale, Jasper. Subs: Ribera Palacios, Jenz, Francois, Tricker.