Jayden Bogle’s late own goal sent Middlesbrough to the top of the Sky Bet Championship as they battled back to draw 1-1 with Derby on Saturday.
The Rams had taken the lead themselves in the first half through an own goal, as George Friend turned the ball into his own net, but Frank Lampard’s side were denied the chance to go top themselves by the unfortunate moment for 18-year-old Bogle.
For Boro, it was a first goal at the Riverside Stadium in four games. They could, however, be replaced at the top by several sides in action later in the afternoon.
Middlesbrough made one change as Dael Fry came in for Martin Braithwaite, while Derby were unchanged.
Derby had raced into leads against Sheffield United and West Brom in the past week and got off to an equally bright start as they pressed and harried Boro early on, eventually breaking the deadlock after 19 minutes.
Scott Malone won the ball back in a dangerous area before whipping a fine ball into the far post from the left, which Friend inadvertently turned into the bottom corner of his own goal.
Moments later Derby should have had a second, only for Tom Lawrence and Jack Marriott to be denied by Darren Randolph in quick succession, before Harry Wilson’s strike hit the post and cannoned just wide off the Boro goalkeeper’s back.
Middlesbrough: Randolph (7), McNair (5), Flint (5), Ayala (5), Fry (5), Friend (6), Clayton (6), Besic (4), Howson (5), Downing (5), Assombalonga (4)
Subs: Saville (5), Braithwaite (5), Gestede (4)
Derby: Carson (6), Bogle (6), Tomori (8), Keogh (7), Malone (7), Huddlestone (7), Mount (7), Wilson (6), Waghorn (6), Lawrence (7), Marriott (6)
Subs: Johnson (n/a), Nugent (n/a)
Man of the match: Fikayo Tomori
Boro pushed forward in the second half but never really looked likely to break Derby down, failing to have a single shot on target. In fact, the best chance fell to Derby as substitute David Nugent found himself free in the box in the 80th minute, but he could only hit his effort straight at the goalkeeper.
But the Rams would not hold on for a third big win this week as Boro launched a high ball into the box after 84 minutes and Bogle, in an attempt to clear, contrived to shin it past Scott Carson.
Man of the match – Fikayo Tomori
A rock at the back for Derby who helped deny Middlesbrough a shot on target for themselves the entire game, Tomori deserved a clean sheet and is gradually developing into one of the best young centre-backs in the Championship.
Both sides are in Carabao Cup fourth-round action on Wednesday night. Derby face a big trip to Lampard’s old club Chelsea, which is live on Sky Sports Football, while Middlesbrough welcome Crystal Palace to the Riverside Stadium.
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