It was an impressive 3-0 victory over Stoke City for Boro at the Riverside this afternoon. A must win game for both clubs started with Boro under the cosh, in fact a miss hit cross almost caught out Bettinelli when it struck a post within the first 5 minutes.

Boro reorganised, pushing Paddy McNair out onto playmaker and former Boro midfielder Jon Obi Mikel. Bolasie moved onto the right flank but also won aerial duel after duel. There were rapid rewards as Bola's inswinging corner was flicked on at the near post by Chuba Akpom for Grant Hall to strike the opening goal coming in to the back of the goal area.

Boro added a second before half time as Paddy McNair broke into the box from the left and placed the ball beyond the diving Angus Gunn.

The away team continued to enjoy more of the possession but a disciplined defensive performance restricted the opportunities and provided a platform for Boro to burst forward on the counter. If and when Stoke did find a gap in our defence, Bettinelli was there as an assured last line of defence making several outstanding saves.

Warnock made a switch with Marvin Johnson coming on to stiffen up the left wing, providing more extra defensive cover but also a more accurate crosser of the ball. At the same time Darnell Fisher came on for Bolasie to bolster the right flank. Again the changes worked a treat. Late doors Mendez-Laing replaced a cramped Spence and Britt put himself about along the front line in place of the tiring Chuba.

With time running out, Stoke loaded our box with their big guns but Boro broke away from a free kick with Sam Morsy powering forward. With Britt to his left and Mendez-Laing to the right the midfielder chose exactly the right moment to release sub Mendez-Laing and the former Cardiff man showed real class by sitting Gunn down as he lobbed the ball into the net. A first Boro goal for Mendez-Laing and game in the bag at 3-0.

Stoke might have dominated possession stats but Boro dominated the scoring. It means our season is still alive and happily we banished many of our Riverside blues recording a victory by a comfortable scoreline at our home ground. Can we now build on this win and record back to back results at home to Preston this midweek?

Come On Boro
Boro team: Betinelli, Spence, Bola, Hall, Fry, Morsy, McNair, Howson, Kebano, Bolasie, Akpom - subs (used) Fisher, Johnson, Mendez-Laing Britt.
Scorers Hall, McNair, Mendez-Laing