Boro ease to victory
Tue 27th Nov 7.45pm
Returning striker Scott McDonald scored twice as Middlesbrough moved back up to third place in the table with a comfortable victory against Huddersfield Town.
Aussie international McDonald earned them a first-half lead from close-range and added his second of the night with only five minutes remaining. Emmanuel Ledesma had earlier increased their advantage from a 66th minute free-kick.
The Argentine had already sent over an early effort from the edge of the area following a foul on the recalled Andy Halliday. McDonald also went close on the turn while Jack Hunt struck narrowly wide in reply after a progressive break.
But it was Boro going ahead when McDonald turned in a cross by fellow former Huddersfield loanee Lukaz Jutkiewicz following an initial run from Justin Hoyte.
Halliday was making his first start of the season for the hosts and soon headed over a corner from Ledesma, while it took sharp reactions from goalkeeper Alex Smithies when diverting Peter Clarke's sliced clearance against the crossbar from Jutkiewicz's cross.
However, the visitors served warning before the break with Jason Steele tipping over Scott Arfield's deflected 20-yard drive and Lee Novak dragged another effort wide following the restart.
Keeper Smithies then blocked from Jutkiewicz at the other end before Ledesma curled in a 22-yard free-kick to increase the lead after being brought down midway through the second-half.
Boro duly added to it late on when Richard Smallwood supplied the cross for McDonald to claim his seventh goal of the season - although the visitors believed the action should have already been halted after Hunt suffered a heavy fall.
Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte, Bikey, Hines, Halliday (Parnaby 90), Bailey, McEachran, Smallwood, Ledesma (Zemmama 87),
Jutkiewicz (Miller 87), McDonald
subs (unused): Leutwiler, Thomson, Emnes, L. Williams
Goals: McDonald (28, 85), Ledesma (66)
Huddersfield Town: Smithies, Dixon, P. Clarke, Hunt, Lynch, Norwood (Atkinson 54), Ward, Arfield, Robinson (Hammill 54), Novak (Lee 68), Church
subs (unused): Bennett, Woods, Gerrard, Wallace