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Riverside Stadium (ATT 18,164) 29th December 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: S Attwell

Middlesbro' Middlesbrough vs Blackpool Blackpool

Middlesbro' 4

I Miller (14)
R Smallwood (36)
S McDonald (62)
A Reach (88)

ft

Blackpool 2

W Thomas (59)
C Basham (76)

Middlesbrough secured their first home league victory over Blackpool for 39 years with a 4-2 win

Last Updated: 29/12/12 5:39pm

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Ishmael Miller: Scored early on

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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Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Leicester City 42 90
2 Burnley 43 86
3 Derby County 43 78
4 Queens Park Rangers 42 73
5 Wigan Athletic 42 70
6 Brighton and Hove Albion 43 65
7 Reading 43 64
8 Ipswich Town 42 64
9 Bournemouth 43 62
10 Blackburn Rovers 43 61
11 Nottingham Forest 42 59
12 Middlesbrough 42 58
13 Watford 41 57
14 Bolton Wanderers 43 55
15 Sheffield Wednesday 43 53
16 Leeds United 42 50
17 Huddersfield Town 43 47
18 Birmingham City 41 43
19 Doncaster Rovers 43 43
20 Charlton Athletic 42 42
21 Blackpool 43 42
22 Millwall 42 40
23 Barnsley 42 39
24 Yeovil Town 43 37