Middlesbrough (1) – QPR (0)

Team: Green, Perch, Hall, Onuoha, Phillips, Fer, Konchesky, Henry, Sandro (Emmanuel-Thomas), Faurlin (Tozser), Suk-Young (Petrasso),

Subs Not Used: Smithies, Angella, Luongo, Blackwood

Attendance: 20,299 (including 314 R’s fans)

We certainly did not look like scoring in the first-half apart from the free kick near half-time, other than that it was a hard working effort by the rear guard.

How Nugent missed that chance for Boro’ from a few yards out only he will lose sleep over it.

I thought that in the second-half we did create a few chances and had a bit more effort going forward and with a bit more we could have sneaked that first goal.

As I don’t see the R’s a lot, I was lugging into the guys around me and I don’t think they have much faith in what we have and unless we start scoring or playing with forwards I feel another bottom-half struggle.

A few of the Rangers fans were singing about the lack of heat on the night, but I just put that down to the southern softness of life!

A few laughs were heard when the announcer said that just over 20,000 were at the game and it was hard to disagree that it was maybe 15,000!

My first visit to the stadium and it’s a decent ground. Also, it’s only a 15-minute walk from the city centre. I was a bit cheesed off for not being able to put my flag out due to the Fire Regulations as I did not have a fire certificate. They explained the reasons so I just had to go along with it!

Anyway it was good to meet a few fellow Scottish R’s from Dumfries.

Eric (Aberdeen)

The Middlesbrough captain, Grant Leadbitter, kept his cool to slot home a penalty four minutes into time added on and earn his side a dramatic late win over QPR at the Riverside.

The midfielder converted from the spot after QPR’s Leroy Fer was shown a red card for handling Daniel Ayala’s overhead kick on the line. It earned Aitor Karanka’s men a 1-0 victory in a poor game, which neither side deserved to win, but afterwards the Middlesbrough manager said he failed to understand the home supporters who booed their team before Leadbitter’s late winner.

“They have to trust these players the way I trust them,” he said. “I know how demanding they (the fans) are. They have expectations. But two years ago we had12,000 people here watching us and we were fighting relegation. Now we have Premier League teams coming here and setting up like that.”

“I can’t understand their frustration when we are now one point from the top of the table. We play Everton in the League Cup next week after beating Manchester United and now we’re beating QPR who were last season in the Premier League. I can’t say anything bad about our supporters, but we have to work hard to get the win sometimes.”

The QPR interim manager Neil Warnock missed his sides trip north for “personal reasons”, with his assistant Kevin Blackwell in charge as the Londoners went close to earning a point. Warnock did not miss out on any great entertainment on a bitterly cold night on Teesside, although both sides created enough chances.

Fer had an early sight of goal but his fourth-minute effort trickled safely to Dimi Konstantopoulos. Then Boro’ had a great chance to take the lead in the 16th minute when Adam Clayton played a delightful ball in behind QPR’s back line for David Nugent but Nedum Onuoha managed to clear just as the striker was about to shoot.

Nugent was a lick of paint away from getting on the score-sheet four minutes later when he brilliantly glanced Albert Adomah’s cross from the right across the face of goal but it came off the post and rebounded into Rob Green’s hands.

The visitors threatened in a rare attack five minutes before half-time. Leadbitter was booked for a foul on Fer – meaning the captain will miss Boro’s trip to Huddersfield next week – and Konstantopoulos had to punch away Alejandro Faurlin’s fierce free kick.

Diego Fabbrini pressed forward in first-half stoppage time for the hosts but his snatched effort at goal flew comfortably past Green to safety.

QPR started the second-half brightly and nearly found the net within two minutes when Yun Suk-Young’s low cross from the left evaded Konstantopoulos but Matty Phillips could not get it over the line under pressure from Ben Gibson.

Phillips missed another glorious chance in the 56th minute. Faurlin’s clever ball behind Boro’s back four found Phillips but he flashed his right leg at thin air and the home side were reprieved again.

Boro’ were struggling to play their usual attacking game but George Friend burst forward shortly after the hour to unleash a shot which flew wide of Green’s right-hand post.

The QPR defender Grant Hall then went close to finding the opening goal when he met Faurlin’s free kick with a glancing header which bounced just wide.

The game was petering out to a draw until Ayala’s late effort was handled by Fer and Leadbitter did the rest to propel Boro’ to within a point of the Championship leaders Hull and Brighton.

The Guardian