Peterborough 2-3 Middlesbrough
Faris Haroun marked his return from injury with two goals as Middlesbrough strengthened their promotion push with victory at bottom club Peterborough.
Haroun, 27, opened the scoring with a cool finish to a swift counter-attack before heading Boro into a 2-0 lead.
Dwight Gayle, on loan from Dagenham and Redbridge, reduced the deficit with a right-foot finish before equalising from a corner.
But Ishmael Miller hit Boro's winner with a speculative 15-yard effort.
While Peterborough are five points from safety after eight matches without a win, Middlesbrough are three points behind second-placed Crystal Palace.
Haroun had missed the last four matches with a calf injury but was clearly eager to make up for lost time.
The midfielder broke the deadlock in the ninth minute with a composed finish after Scott McDonald's pass.
It was 2-0 just 11 minutes later, Haroun meeting Stuart Parnaby's cross from the right before Gayle gave the hosts hope with a thumping finish seven minutes before the break.
Peterborough were level when Gayle prodded home Lee Tomlin's corner but substitute Miller had the final say 14 minutes from time.
Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson: "When we equalised I felt sure there would only be one winner, but unfortunately it wasn't to be.
"There's no doubt in my mind we deserved to win it but we have conceded three very poor goals.
"But there are a lot of positives to take from our performance and we'll certainly win games if playing to that standard on a regular basis.
"We have 25 matches to turn our season around."
Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray: "We came here to win, we would have been disappointed to draw and yet we could even have lost.
"It was all about the three points and we got them in the end.
"The fact that Peterborough are bottom shows just how strong the Championship is as a league."
- 01 Olejnik
- 05 Zakuani
- 19 Little
- 06 Bostwick
- 14 Rowe (Ferdinand - 78' )
- 17 Newell
- 20 Knight-Percival (Swanson - 90' )
- 33 Thorne
- 08 Tomlin Booked
- 10 Boyd
- 34 Gayle
- 13 Day
- 03 Alcock
- 04 Brisley
- 07 Swanson
- 11 McCann
- 16 Kearns
- 18 Ferdinand
- 01 Steele
- 03 Bikey
- 21 Parnaby
- 39 Woodgate
- 07 Leadbitter
- 16 McEachran (Thomson - 78' )
- 18 Halliday
- 38 Haroun (Smallwood - 69' )
- 09 Emnes (Miller - 73' )
- 11 Ledesma
- 27 McDonald
- 32 Leutwiler
- 15 Hines
- 08 Thomson
- 10 Bailey
- 33 Smallwood
- 17 Jutkiewicz
- 30 Miller
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The match has reached full-time.90:00 +2:41 Booking
Booking Booking for Lee Tomlin for dissent.90:00 +1:21
Scott McDonald has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the target.90:00 +0:21
Ishmael Miller concedes a free kick for a foul on Robert Olejnik. Robert Olejnik takes the free kick.89:49 Substitution
Substitution Nathaniel Knight-Percival goes off and Danny Swanson comes on.88:49
Ishmael Miller fouled by Gabriel Zakuani, the ref awards a free kick. Strike comes in from Emmanuel Ledesma from the free kick. Corner taken right-footed by Grant Leadbitter from the right by-line, save made by Robert Olejnik.83:35
Foul by Grant Leadbitter on George Boyd, free kick awarded. George Thorne takes the direct free kick.82:16
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Richard Smallwood by George Thorne. Direct free kick taken by Grant Leadbitter.77:56 Substitution
Substitution Kane Ferdinand replaces Tommy Rowe.77:34 Substitution
Substitution Josh McEachran goes off and Kevin Thomson comes on.75:20
Assist by Josh McEachran.75:20 Goal scored
Goal! - Ishmael Miller - Peterboro 2 - 3 Middlesbro A goal is scored by Ishmael Miller from just inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Peterborough 2-3 Middlesbrough.72:33 Substitution
Substitution Marvin Emnes goes off and Ishmael Miller comes on.69:42
Header by Dwight Gayle from just outside the area goes over the net.68:34 Substitution
Substitution Faris Haroun leaves the field to be replaced by Richard Smallwood.67:40
The assistant referee flags for offside against Scott McDonald. Direct free kick taken by Gabriel Zakuani.65:34
Corner taken by Emmanuel Ledesma from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by Gabriel Zakuani.63:03
Free kick awarded for a foul by Lee Tomlin on Andrew Halliday. Josh McEachran takes the direct free kick.59:29
Mark Little concedes a free kick for a foul on Faris Haroun. Free kick taken by Emmanuel Ledesma. Tommy Rowe has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand post.56:41
Michael Bostwick challenges Faris Haroun unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Grant Leadbitter from left channel. Corner taken by Emmanuel Ledesma from the right by-line, save made by Robert Olejnik.
Unfair challenge on George Boyd by Josh McEachran results in a free kick. George Boyd restarts play with the free kick.54:01
Foul by Scott McDonald on Michael Bostwick, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by George Thorne.51:17
Assist on the goal came from Michael Bostwick.51:17 Goal scored
Goal! - Dwight Gayle - Peterboro 2 - 2 Middlesbro Dwight Gayle scores a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Peterborough 2-2 Middlesbrough.50:54
Dwight Gayle takes a shot. Save by Jason Steele. Outswinging corner taken by Lee Tomlin,45:56
George Boyd fouled by Faris Haroun, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by George Boyd.45:01
The second half kicks off.45:00 +2:53 Half time
Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.45:00 +2:24
George Thorne has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide left of the goal.40:59
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gabriel Zakuani by Marvin Emnes. Gabriel Zakuani restarts play with the free kick.37:00
Assist by Lee Tomlin.37:00 Goal scored
Goal! - Dwight Gayle - Peterboro 1 - 2 Middlesbro Dwight Gayle gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the box to the top left corner of the goal. Peterborough 1-2 Middlesbrough.34:17
Andrew Halliday produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses left.32:04
Effort from outside the penalty box by Lee Tomlin goes wide right of the target.28:16
Effort from the edge of the penalty box by Tommy Rowe goes wide of the right-hand upright. Corner taken by Lee Tomlin.27:42
Handball by Stuart Parnaby. Nathaniel Knight-Percival takes the direct free kick.26:50
Corner taken right-footed by Lee Tomlin.25:10
George Thorne takes a shot. Save made by Jason Steele.23:39
George Boyd takes a shot. Clearance by Jonathan Woodgate. Corner taken right-footed by Lee Tomlin from the right by-line, Long range effort by George Thorne goes wide right of the target.22:33
Foul by Michael Bostwick on Marvin Emnes, free kick awarded. Faris Haroun takes the free kick.19:49
Assist by Stuart Parnaby.19:49 Goal scored
Goal! - Faris Haroun - Peterboro 0 - 2 Middlesbro A goal is scored by Faris Haroun from close range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Peterborough 0-2 Middlesbrough.18:06
George Thorne has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the target. Outswinging corner taken by Lee Tomlin from the right by-line, Jonathan Woodgate makes a clearance.17:20
Marvin Emnes produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the target.15:50
Faris Haroun challenges Lee Tomlin unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by George Thorne.14:10
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gabriel Zakuani by Marvin Emnes. Direct free kick taken by George Boyd.13:09
Scott McDonald takes a shot. Save made by Robert Olejnik. A cross is delivered by Stuart Parnaby.11:07
Faris Haroun takes a shot. Blocked by Gabriel Zakuani. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Grant Leadbitter from the left by-line to the near post, save by Robert Olejnik.8:56
Assist by Scott McDonald.8:56 Goal scored
Goal! - Faris Haroun - Peterboro 0 - 1 Middlesbro Faris Haroun scores a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Peterborough 0-1 Middlesbrough.8:36
Corner taken right-footed by Lee Tomlin, Andrew Halliday makes a clearance.8:11
Clearance by Andrew Halliday. The ball is swung over by Lee Tomlin,5:16
Marvin Emnes challenges Lee Tomlin unfairly and gives away a free kick. Lee Tomlin restarts play with the free kick.3:40
Gabriel Zakuani challenges Marvin Emnes unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Emmanuel Ledesma.0:00
The game kicks-off.
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