Date: 16th December 2017 at 9:41pm
Written by: Vital Boro

Middlesbrough conceded ground on the play-offs while slipping down to tenth in the table with a 2-1 defeat to Millwall at the Den.

The visitors were already two goals in arrears by the break after Jed Wallace and George Saville had put their opponents well in charge.

However, Stewart Downing reduced the deficit when goalkeeper Jordan Archer failed to gather his distance effort midway through the second-half.

Aiden O’Brien had proved wayward with an early volley for the hosts, with Archer denying Patrick Bamford’s low drive at the other end.

His opposite number Darren Randolph then reacted well to keep out Lee Gregory’s header, although he was beaten by Wallace’s low strike around the half-hour mark.

And it soon grew even worse for the visitors when Saville added a second goal after foraging his way past opponents that should really have cleared.

Martin Braithwaite headed wide from Cyrus Christie’s delivery after the break, while goalscorer Wallace was once again threatening for the home team.

But when Downing’s 67th minute strike escaped Archer there were suddenly hopes of a full recovery – and Britt Assombalonga then almost took advantage of a Braithwaite cross.

Ryan Tunnicliffe and Steve Morison both saw later return efforts, though, as their colleagues went on to maintain their narrow lead and take maximum points.

Millwall: Archer, Romeo, Hutchinson, Cooper, Meredith, Wallace, Tunnicliffe, Saville, O’Brien (Craig 86), Morison, Gregory (Williams 74)

subs (unused): McLaughlin, Thompson, Martin, Elliott, Twardek

Goals: Wallace (31), Saville (37)

Middlesbrough: Randolph, Christie (Traore 80), Ayala, Gibson, Fabio, Howson (Gestede 59), Leadbitter, Downing, Braithwaite (Johnson 80), Bamford, Assombalonga

subs (unused): Konstantopoulos, Friend, Shotton, Forshaw

Goals: Downing (67)

Ref: O. Langford

Att: 12,026