REPORT: Derby County 1-1 Middlesbrough

Harry Wilson got the Rams goal.
Harry Wilson got the Rams goal.

Derby County drew for the third home game in a row as Middlesbrough shared the points with them on New Year's Day.

Despite leading in the opening two minutes, the Rams couldn't build on their great start and eventually saw fellow promotion challengers Boro battle back for a point that sees both teams remain in the top six.

Derby could perhaps point to a lack of attacking creativity for too much of the game as a reason for them not winning it, with frequent spells of inactivity up top not helped by the loss of goalscorer Harry Wilson early in the second-half.

But it was again a point that can't be sniffed at in the promotion race, Boro always a threat going forward, particularly in the second-half.

The start couldn't have been better for the hosts. Jack Marriott broke forward and fed a lovely ball into Wilson who was able to fire first time past Darren Randolph in the Boro goal and into the corner of the net inside 90 seconds. Losing key defender Aden Flint with an injury just before kick-off could well have affected the visitors' organisation in the early moments and they paid the price.

Wilson fired wide from 30 yards on eight minutes as the Rams continued their bright start, Boro very slow out of the blocks having been shell-shocked by the early goal.

Chances were proving few and far between, Mo Besic and Lewis Wing both seeing shots blocked inside the Derby area as Boro tried to get back on level terms, but they were lacking ideas in the final third and Derby were mopping up most of the danger.

The game then lulled through to half-time, neither goalkeeper tested for remainder of what had been a pretty dull half despite the lively opening.

There was a blow for Derby early in the second-half when Wilson picked up a knock and had to be replaced by Tom Huddlestone.

Then things got even worse on 53 minutes as Boro got level, George Friend's deep cross from the left finding Jordan Hugill who had got in between the defenders and planted a fine header into the net.

Danny Batth nearly had the visitors in front moments later when a free-kick reached him but Scott Carson saved well, then Hugill headed wide from another delivery from the left hand side as Boro suddenly took control.

They couldn't get a second though as chances again dried up, the next coming on 77 minutes when sub Huddlestone drilled wide from distance after Richard Keogh's cut back.

Sub David Nugent could have won it four minutes from time when, after Andre Wisdom had done well down the left, the former Boro striker's shot was parried away by Randolph. Moments later, Mount flashed a low shot wide from distance as the Rams finished strongly but were unable to find the winner.

Derby County: Carson, Wisdom, Tomori, Keogh (c), Wilson (Huddlestone 49), Mount, Waghorn (Holmes 69), Jozefzoon, Marriott, Evans (Nugent 77), Bogle

Subs not used: Roos, Bryson, Pearce, Lowe

Middlesbrough: Randolph, Friend (c), Ayala, Baath, Clayton, Hugill (Assombalonga 87), Howson, Fry, Saville (Downing 71), Wing, Besic

Subs not used: Lonergan, McNair, Fletcher, Tavernier, Gestede

Goals: Derby - Wilson 2

Middlesbrough - Hugill 53

Yellows: Middlesbrough - Saville 45, Besic 73

Ref: Robert Jones

Att: 28,123