Middlesbrough 3 Barnsley 1

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Striker Patrick Bamford grabbed his eighth goal in five games as Middlesbrough consolidated their standing in the play-offs with a 3-1 victory against Barnsley.

The Teessiders enjoyed the perfect start with Daniel Ayala scoring inside the first minute before Adama Traore soon added another.

Bamford went on to make it three following the interval, although Kieffer Moore swiftly headed a reply at the other end.

Ryan Shotton’s long throw was helped on straight after the kick-off and defender Ayala immediately stabbed the promotion hopefuls into a very early lead.

Midfielder Jonny Howson then had a driven attempt charged down following good work by Stewart Downing, until Traore veered in from the right on eighteen minutes and struck low beyond Nick Townsend.

The Boro fans had already been conducting a special applause for a couple of young supporters who had tragically lost their lives during a bad road accident near Thirsk on Wednesday evening.

Downing despatched an effort wide following the interval, but it was Bamford suitably turning in a third goal when Townsend failed to gather a 53rd minute corner.

Five minutes later Darren Randolph blocked from Gary Gardner and Moore gratefully headed in the rebound to reduce the deficit.

That clearly inspired the visitors and Randolph was required to deny Stephen Mallan from the edge of the area while opposite number Townsend thwarted Traore.

The Tykes were still earning a number of corners and from another goalscorer Moore then headed against an upright.

Middlesbrough: Randolph, Shotton, Ayala, Gibson, Friend, Howson, Clayton, Besic (Baker 66), Traore, Bamford (Assombalonga 90), Downing (Cranie 83)

subs (unused): Konstantopoulos, Fry, Johnson, Harrison

Goals: Ayala (1), Traore (18), Bamford (53)

Barnsley: Townsend, Cavare, Jackson, Lindsay, Pinillos, Gardner, Williams (Mallan 75), Knasmullner (Isgrove 61), Hedges (Thiam 46), Moore, McBurnie

subs (unused): Davies, Moncur, Yiadom, Pearson

Goals: Moore (58)

Ref: A. Davies

Att: 24,917

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