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Bad start for Boro

Derby County
3 - 1
Middlesbrough

Pride Park

Tue 1st Jan 3pm

Attendance: 22,523

Referee:

An out-of-sorts Middlesbrough slipped one place to fourth in the table with a disappointing 3-1 defeat to Derby County at Pride Park.

The visitors fell behind when Michael Jacobs opened the scoring on nineteen minutes and Jeff Hendrick added another before the break. Irish-born striker Conor Sammon later collected a third goal before Lukas Jutkiewicz grabbed a last-minute consolation.

Boro were earlier forced to include a couple of young defenders on the bench for the first time in Paul Weldon and Christian Burgess. Full-back Justin Hoyte and striker Marvin Emnes both missed out with injuries.

Following a slow start to proceedings it was the hosts forging ahead towards the midpoint of the opening half when Ben Davies' free-kick was converted by the unmarked Jacobs from around eight-yards.

Defender Andy Halliday soon required attention following a knock to the face before fellow full-back Stuart Parnaby narrowly cleared the crossbar for the visitors. And Boro were to suffer another injury blow when former England defender Jonathan Woodgate limped off on 37 minutes and was replaced by Kevin Thomson.

Davies next struck over for their opponents until Hendrick volleyed an impressive second goal with only three minutes of the opening half remaining. It could have immediately got worse as Davies then crashed a 30-yard free-kick against the crossbar.

Another change at the break for the visitors with Luke Williams coming on for Scott McDonald, although it was soon Sammon having a follow-up header cleared off the line by emergency centre-back Nicky Bailey after goalkeeper Jason Steele had already blocked his opening attempt.

Derby still extended their lead on 65 minutes when Steele denied a low-struck drive from Jacobs but Sammon seized upon the rebound to claim his sixth goal of the season.

Boro duly introduced Ishmael Miller from the bench and the burly on loan striker at least forced a diving save from Adam Legzdins before crossing late on for Jutkiewicz to find a solitary reply from six-yards during added time.

Derby County: Legzdins, Brayford, Keogh, O'Brien, Freeman, Coutts, Hendrick, Davies, Hughes, Jacobs (Tyson 77), Sammon (Hoganson 87)

subs (unused): Fielding, O'Connor, Gjokaj, Robinson, Doyle

Goals: Jacobs (19), Hendrick (42), Sammon (65)

Middlesbrough: Steele. Parnaby, R. Williams, Woodgate (Thomson 37), Halliday, Leadbitter (Miller 66), Bailey, Smallwood, Reach, Jutkiewicz, McDonald (L. Williams 46)

subs (unused): Leutwiler, Burgess, Weldon, Zemmama

Goals: Jutkiewicz (90)

Ref: Whitestone

Att: 22,523

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Writer:Vital Boro
Date:Tuesday January 1 2013
Time: 11:48PM

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Burnley 46 26 15 5 93 37
P Middlesbrough 46 26 11 9 89 32
3 Brighton 46 24 17 5 89 30
4 Hull City 46 24 11 11 83 34
5 Derby County 46 21 15 10 78 23
6 Sheff Wed 46 19 17 10 74 21
7 Ipswich 46 18 15 13 69 2
8 Cardiff 46 17 17 12 68 5
9 Brentford 46 19 8 19 65 5
10 Birmingham 46 16 15 15 63 4
11 Preston 46 15 17 14 62 0
12 Q.P.R. 46 14 18 14 60 0
13 Leeds Utd 46 14 17 15 59 -8
14 Wolves 46 14 16 16 58 -5
15 Blackburn 46 13 16 17 55 0
16 Forest 46 13 16 17 55 -4
17 Reading 46 13 13 20 52 -7
18 Bristol City 46 13 13 20 52 -17
19 Huddersfield 46 13 12 21 51 -11
20 Fulham 46 12 15 19 51 -13
21 Rotherham 46 13 10 23 49 -18
R Charlton 46 9 13 24 40 -40
R MK Dons 46 9 12 25 39 -30
R Bolton 46 5 15 26 30 -40
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