Ghana winger Albert Adomah scored on Tuesday night for Middlesbrough to keep up the pressure on English Championship leaders Derby as they ground out a scratchy 1-0 victory over Bolton.
Adomah’s first-half strike was enough to secure the Teessiders their first win in three matches in their mid-week home match.
This ensures that they remained in an automatic promotion place despite their slight recent wobble.
Their triumph would have been more emphatic had Patrick Bamford not spurned a succession of decent openings either side of the interval, but, with the visitors lacking confidence and guile up front, the final outcome was never really in doubt.
Boro suffered their first home defeat since August when they lost to Leeds at the weekend, and the hosts appeared to be suffering a hangover as they stuttered their way through the opening stages.
But Lee Tomlin was the architect, threading a delightful ball between Dervite and David Wheater to release Adomah through the middle.
The winger had gone 20 games without scoring, but showed no signs of nerves as he slotted a calm finish past Amos.
A scramble in the penalty area ended with Adomah prodding the ball into his path, but Bamford blazed over from close range with the goal seemingly at his mercy.
Tomlin curled a late free-kick against the crossbar as Boro pushed for a second goal, and Aitor Karanka’s side withstood some late Bolton pressure to clinch the win and stay three points clear of the play-off positions.
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