Middlesbrough returned to winning ways after a dominant win over Charlton.
Jonathon Woodgate’s Middlesbrough side created a four point gap between themselves and the championship drop zone, following a one sided win at the Riverside.
It took the home-side just 52 seconds to take the lead, with George Saville following in on Britt Assombalonga’s initial strike which was spilled by Goalkeeper Dillon Phillips.
The hosts dominated the early exchanges with goal scorer George Saville going close from distance, and Hayden Coulson almost capitalising on a defensive blunder.
The second half showed more of the same, with the home-side continuing to implement a high-tempo and create chances.
Marcus Tavernier should have doubled the home-sides lead after an hour, as he blazed over from 4 yards following a fine delivery from Middlesbrough debutant Djed Spence.
Top Scorer Britt Assombalonga also went close with a back-post header following Coulson’s early cross.
A heavy challenge on the Middlesbrough striker moments later, will however be cause for concern for the boro boss, with the Congolese being forced off injured after 63 minutes.
It was not until the 70th minute that the visitors threatened the Middlesbrough goal, as some quick feet by Conor Gallagher allowed the 19 year old space to curl an effort just wide from the edge of the box.
Woodgate’s men had yet more opportunities to put the game to bed late on, with Fletcher having an effort palmed just wide, and substitute Stephen Walker shooting over from Saville’s weighted through ball.
The result leaves Middlesbrough in 19th place, 3 points behind Charlton who remain 17th.
Middlesbrough Manager Jonathon Woodgate:
‘’I thought it could have been three or four nil. We dominated throughout, creating chances, and in the second half I thought we looked very dangerous on transition.
’’When they had a bit of play, we soaked it up, it was a very pleasing result.’’
Charlton Manager Lee Bowyer:
“It wasn’t good enough. From the first whistle, they were better than us. There’s not many times I’ve watched a game and we’ve been that poor.
“It’s not like our side. Our side is normally fighting and competing, but they just looked nervous in possession, I’ve never seen them like that before.
“I’ll just have to put it down to one of those bad experiences, I guess. We didn’t win a second ball all day, we didn’t stop crosses and we defended poorly for the goal.
“Conceding in the first minute? That can’t happen. But I’ve been in charge for 18 months and this is really the first time I’ve had to question them like I have.”
20 years old