Championship
Middlesbrough1Preston0

Championship: Middlesbrough 1-0 Preston North End

Albert Adomah
Albert Adomah has scored eight goals now this season for Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough maintained their push for automatic promotion from the Championship with a narrow win against Preston North End.

Albert Adomah's first-half strike was enough to stretch Boro's winning league run to four games and edge them four points clear of third-placed Brighton.

David Nugent had chances to add to the lead, but Preston made life tough for the home side with dogged defence.

North End find themselves 12 points off the top six with five games to play.

Burnley's 1-0 home win against Leeds in the early kick-off ensured Aitor Karanka's outfit could not go top, with one point now separating the two sides.

Despite a formidable home record and a return to form since Spaniard Karanka missed the Charlton game to consider his future at the Riverside, Preston were able to frustrate the Teessiders in the first-half.

There was tangible anxiety around the Riverside before Adomah finally cracked the tension just after the half-hour mark with a shot from the right of the box.

Nugent and Grant Leadbitter had good chances to add to Boro's tally either side of the break but Simon Grayson's 10th-placed Preston stayed in the contest.

Visiting defender Marnick Vermijl might have added further concern had his fiercely struck effort not been directed at goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos.

There was a scuffle between the two coaching teams late on, but Boro kept their lead intact to nudge closer to promotion and secure a 21st clean sheet of the season.

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka:

"It is important to win at this time of the season. Now we have our game in hand but we cannot think we have the three points in our pocket already. Every point is gold.

"We don't want to be in the Championship next season. At the beginning of the season. the aim was to get in the play-offs.

"With the experience we have had from last season, with six games to go, we are there but now we have to forget the play-offs and promotion and just concentrate on the next game.

"The key was the crowd. Sometimes, when you don't feel their support, you are going down but, with them behind us, the team is confident. We are more than together."

Preston manager Simon Grayson:

"We are hugely disappointed that we haven't got a result. We had four players out from the other night.

"We didn't have a full bench but we created them problems and not many sides can say that about that when they come here.

"We really played well and, but for some misses and good saves, we could have got something out of the game.

"You could see the relief for everyone from Middlesbrough at the final whistle. We have some big games to be still involved in. We want to finish as high as we can."

Line-ups

Middlesbrough

  • 1Konstantopoulos
  • 24Nsue
  • 4Ayala
  • 6Gibson
  • 3Friend
  • 34Forshaw
  • 7Leadbitter
  • 18StuaniSubstituted forDowningat 63'minutes
  • 21RamírezSubstituted forClaytonat 69'minutes
  • 27Adomah
  • 35Nugent

Substitutes

  • 5de Laet
  • 8Clayton
  • 9Rhodes
  • 16de Sart
  • 19Downing
  • 25Agazzi
  • 26Kalas

Preston

  • 1Lindegaard
  • 2Vermijl
  • 6WrightBooked at 52mins
  • 23Huntington
  • 3Cunningham
  • 4PearsonSubstituted forWelshat 62'minutes
  • 12Gallagher
  • 11Johnson
  • 37RobinsonSubstituted forBeckfordat 62'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 13Doyle
  • 14Garner

Substitutes

  • 8Kilkenny
  • 10Beckford
  • 16Browne
  • 19Welsh
  • 30Smith
  • 43Kirkland
Referee:
Oliver Langford
Attendance:
26,390

Match Stats

Home TeamMiddlesbroughAway TeamPreston
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home14
Away12
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home4
Away4
Fouls
Home9
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Middlesbrough 1, Preston North End 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 1, Preston North End 0.

Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Greg Cunningham (Preston North End).

Offside, Middlesbrough. Adam Clayton tries a through ball, but Albert Adomah is caught offside.

David Nugent (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Greg Cunningham (Preston North End).

Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Eoin Doyle (Preston North End).

Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Bailey Wright (Preston North End).

Booking

Jermaine Beckford (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jermaine Beckford (Preston North End).

Attempt missed. Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Stewart Downing with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Paul Gallagher.

Dimitrios Konstantopoulos (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Eoin Doyle (Preston North End).

Offside, Middlesbrough. Adam Forshaw tries a through ball, but David Nugent is caught offside.

Hand ball by Adam Forshaw (Middlesbrough).

Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Joe Garner (Preston North End).

Attempt missed. Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left following a corner.

Attempt saved. Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Attempt blocked. Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Grant Leadbitter with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by John Welsh.

Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Eoin Doyle (Preston North End).

Foul by Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough).

Greg Cunningham (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Offside, Middlesbrough. Grant Leadbitter tries a through ball, but Albert Adomah is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Adam Clayton replaces Gastón Ramírez because of an injury.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Ben Gibson.

Attempt saved. Marnick Vermijl (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Paul Gallagher.

Attempt missed. Joe Garner (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Eoin Doyle.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Ben Gibson.

Adam Forshaw (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Eoin Doyle (Preston North End).

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Stewart Downing replaces Cristhian Stuani.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Burnley412214564333180
2Middlesbrough40247955253079
3Brighton402015556381875
4Hull4020101056292770
5Derby411913960382270
6Sheff Wed411814960411968
7Cardiff411615105244863
8Ipswich411612134747060
9Birmingham401611134539659
10Preston411414133939056
11QPR411316125248455
12Wolves411314144852-453
13Brentford40157185761-452
14Reading401312154546-151
15Leeds401115143949-1048
16Blackburn411114163940-147
17Fulham411114166367-447
18Bristol City411211184564-1947
19Huddersfield411210195459-546
20Nottm Forest401113163541-646
21Rotherham41137215164-1346
22MK Dons41910223459-2537
23Charlton41812213772-3536
24Bolton41414233876-3826
View full Championship table

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