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Sky Bet Championship

Riverside Stadium (ATT 14,129) 23rd October 2012 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: P Tierney

M'boro Middlesbrough vs Hull City Hull City

M'boro 2

F Haroun (59)
I Miller (66)

ft

Teessiders too good for Tigers

Last Updated: 23/10/12 10:42pm

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Miller: Registered first goal for Boro

Miller: Registered first goal for Boro

Middlesbrough rediscovered their killer instinct at the Riverside to see off Hull 2-0 and climb within three points of the Championship summit.

Tony Mowbray's promotion hopefuls were without a home win in over a month, and only a run of three consecutive victories on the road had kept them in touch with the play-off places throughout October.

But second-half strikes from Faris Haroun and Ishmael Miller - the latter registering his first goal for the Teessiders - pushed Boro above the Tigers and back into the top six.

A lacklustre Hull were deflated early on as Nick Proschwitz appeared to be denied a goalscoring opportunity by stand-in Boro skipper Grant Leadbitter.

Aaron Mclean spurned the best chance to reduce the deficit and challenge for a first point for Hull on Teesside for two years, but it was not to be for Steve Bruce's men, who sank to eighth in the table as a result.

Boro raced out of the traps and were nearly rewarded for their ambition as early as the ninth minute.

Teenage winger Adam Reach snatched the ball from Andy Dawson, jinking inside to work Ben Amos at his near post.

The nervous Hull stopper was at sixes and sevens from the resulting corner but steeled himself sufficiently to deny George Friend an easy tap-in.

Amos then lost his footing when clutching at a Leadbitter corner, barely managing to propel his arms forward and keep the ball from crossing the line before struggling to repel a soft shot from Marvin Emnes.

Stephen Quinn tried his luck from outside the area as Hull tried to grow into the game but Amos was soon under siege again, feebly punching away a speculative drive from Leadbitter.

The sublime met the ridiculous shortly after the half-hour mark, though, as Boro were controversially allowed to continue with 11 men and on level terms.

Mclean dazzled the crowd with a sumptuous through-ball intended for Proschwitz. But Leadbitter raced back to take his man down, both denying the German a free shot on goal and failing to arouse the referee's suspicions.

The constant push-and-run football fizzled out towards the break but there was time for Amos to fumble once more, this time spilling an Emnes strike into Haroun's path and only just managing to hook the ball clear.

Amos was left standing five minutes after the restart as Friend crashed a header on to the crossbar, Miller overcooking the rebound and nodding into the crowd. Proschwitz soon returned the favour by fluffing a free header.

One side was certain to be punished for their profligacy and that unwelcome honour fell to Hull in the 59th minute.

Haroun was the man on point following a swift Boro break, Friend supplying the killer pass, and it was all too easy for the Belgian to slot past a marooned Amos.

Boro would double their lead just six minutes later. There were gasps as Friend burst into the box to force another sloppy spill from Amos, substitute Scott McDonald's snapshot bouncing free, but Miller was there to gleefully steer the ball into the net.

The Tigers would offer precious little in terms of a meaningful response and Mclean was guilty of shanking Corry Evans' cross wide with the goal gaping as the game entered the final 10 minutes.

Home substitute Emmanuel Ledesma might have done better when he arrived at Amos' near post in the final throes, but Mowbray's charges had already secured a third straight Championship victory.

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Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Derby County 34 65
2 Middlesbrough 34 63
3 Norwich City 34 62
4 Watford 34 62
5 Bournemouth 34 60
6 Ipswich Town 34 60
7 Brentford 34 58
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 34 57
9 Nottingham Forest 34 50
10 Sheffield Wednesday 34 46
11 Blackburn Rovers 34 45
12 Charlton Athletic 34 42
13 Birmingham City 34 42
14 Huddersfield Town 34 42
15 Cardiff City 34 41
16 Leeds United 34 41
17 Bolton Wanderers 34 40
18 Reading 34 40
19 Fulham 34 39
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 34 37
21 Rotherham United 34 37
22 Millwall 34 31
23 Wigan Athletic 34 28
24 Blackpool 34 22