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Sky Bet Championship

Riverside Stadium (ATT 15,494) 25th August 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: D Coote

Middlesbro' Middlesbrough vs Crystal Palace C Palace

Middlesbro' 2

S Hines (41)
M Zemmama (52)

ft

C Palace 1

J Easter (pen 56)

Hines helps Boro down Eagles

Last Updated: 25/08/12 5:13pm

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Hines: Scored Boro's opener

Hines: Scored Boro's opener

Seb Hines scored on his first start of the season paid off as Middlesbrough beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday.

Hines headed in the opening goal five minutes before half-time - and a Merouane Zemmama strike in the 51st minute helped Boro bag a second successive Championship victory.

Palace made it a contest with a 55th-minute penalty from Jermaine Easter, but it proved to be another disappointing day for Dougie Freedman and his men, who have now lost the first three games of a league campaign for the first time in 39 years.

Boro boss Tony Mowbray made four changes from the side that had chalked up a 3-2 win over Burnley in midweek, with 25-year-old striker Ishmael Miller making his debut after arriving on a one-year loan deal from Nottingham Forest.

And Miller was one of a number of Middlesbrough players who peppered Julian Speroni's goal with long-range efforts in the first half.

The home side almost opened the scoring after just seven minutes when Faris Haroun's back-post header from Julian Hoyte's deep cross came back off the woodwork.

Miller then drove in a right-footed shot from the edge of the penalty area that was blocked by Peter Ramage.

Palace tried to respond and after 15 minutes Jermaine Easter sent a 25-yarder over the crossbar.

But Middlesbrough were in the driving seat, with on-loan Chelsea starlet Josh McEachran and Grant Leadbitter controlling midfield, and it needed the brilliance of Speroni to keep the Eagles in the hunt as he superbly tipped over a 20-yard drive from Haroun.

But Boro finally broke the deadlock five minutes before half-time. Speroni excelled again by pushing an Adam Reach screamer over the top, but Hines headed home Leadbitter's corner from six yards.

Middlesbrough extended their lead six minutes into the second half. Zaha brought down George Friend on the edge of the box and Zemmama sent a free-kick into the bottom corner.

Haroun almost added a third two minutes later but his shot was again well saved by Speroni.

Palace were much improved in the second period and gave themselves a fighting chance when a bad foul by McEachran on Easter resulted in a 55th minute penalty - and Easter dusted himself down before blasting the spot-kick down the middle.

Substitute Andre Moritz then tried his luck from the edge of the penalty area but Boro keeper Jason Steele was alert to the danger and made a good stop.

With time running out, Steele pulled off a brilliant last-ditch save to deny Zaha an equaliser.

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Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Leicester City 43 93
2 Burnley 43 86
3 Derby County 43 78
4 Queens Park Rangers 43 73
5 Wigan Athletic 42 70
6 Brighton and Hove Albion 43 65
7 Reading 43 64
8 Ipswich Town 43 64
9 Nottingham Forest 43 62
10 Bournemouth 43 62
11 Blackburn Rovers 43 61
12 Watford 42 60
13 Middlesbrough 43 58
14 Bolton Wanderers 43 55
15 Sheffield Wednesday 43 53
16 Leeds United 43 53
17 Huddersfield Town 43 47
18 Birmingham City 42 43
19 Doncaster Rovers 43 43
20 Millwall 43 43
21 Charlton Athletic 42 42
22 Blackpool 43 42
23 Barnsley 43 39
24 Yeovil Town 43 37