Middlesbrough secured their first home league victory over Blackpool for 39 years with a 4-2 win
Last Updated: 29/12/12 5:39pm
Ishmael Miller: Scored early on
Middlesbrough secured their first home league victory over Blackpool for 39 years with a 4-2 win at The Riverside that inched them closer to an automatic promotion place.
The hosts dominated proceedings in the first half and striker Ishmael Miller was at the heart of things with an early goal, with Richard Smallwood doubling the advantage on 35 minutes.
Blackpool fought back when Wes Thomas scored just before the hour mark, but Scott McDonald replied for Boro.
Chris Basham found the net and Blackpool would have edged a point but Thomas Ince's 81st-minute penalty was well saved by Boro keeper Jason Steele, before Adam Reach made the points safe three minutes from time for the hosts.
Visiting keeper Matt Gilks was kept busy early on by Miller's crossing, and the combination for the inevitable opener came as no surprise.
Gilks opted to stay on the line for Grant Leadbitter's 14th-minute corner - Boro's seventh - meaning Miller had enough space to head into the bottom corner.
Miller and Marvin Emnes both went close from the edge of the box, but Boro were forced into a change with the injured Justin Hoyte replaced by Stuart Parnaby.
Michael Appleton attempted a shake-up by replacing Nathan Delfouneso with Angel Martinez but Blackpool conceded their second 10 minutes before the break as Emnes' cut-back found Smallwood who coolly slotted in from the edge of the area.
Gary Taylor-Fletcher headed tamely wide in a rare Blackpool move while Appleton brought on Ludovic Sylvestre for the ineffective Tiago Gomes.
It provided the impetus as Blackpool strung several passes together before Taylor-Fletcher laid off for Thomas who found space to score at the near post.
Just three minutes later, though, Boro caught their opponents out in possession and Scott McDonald charged forward before a calm finish saw the two-goal advantage restored.
Blackpool attempted a swift response as Chris Basham shot wide but Boro were in cruise control, replacing Miller with Reach before McDonald went close from 18 yards.
Basham then made it a nervy end to the game as Basham got on the end of a cross from the tireless Crainey before Jonathan Woodgate felled Sylvestre to concede the spot kick and earn a yellow card.
The Seasiders, however, failed to capitalise as Ince's spot kick was saved by Steele who guessed correctly, with Boro piling on the misery through Reach who struck on 87 minutes after good work by Lukas Jutkiewicz.
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