MX23RW : Thursday, July 16 12:18:42| >> :60:2364:2364:
Apr 27, 2019 at 3pm UK at Riverside Stadium (Middlesbrough)
Attendance: 22,003
Wing (31'), Assombalonga (39' pen.)
FT(HT: 2-1)
Loader (11')

Result: Middlesbrough keep playoff hopes alive with win over Reading

Result: Middlesbrough keep playoff hopes alive with win over Reading
© Reuters
Wing's predatory strike just after the half-hour mark cancelled out the Royals' opener.

Lewis Wing returned to Middlesbrough's starting line-up to help them earn a much-needed 2-1 Championship victory over Reading at the Riverside Stadium.

Wing's predatory strike just after the half-hour mark cancelled out the Royals' beautiful opener scored by teenager Danny Loader in the 11th minute.

And Middlesbrough took command by hitting what proved to be the winner six minutes before half-time when Britt Assombalonga converted a penalty to grab his 15th goal of the season.

It was a victory over Reading, who were effectively safe before kick-off, that kept the home side level on points with Derby in sixth going into a final-day trip to Rotherham next Sunday.

Middlesbrough knew that defeat would have made a play-off place even more unlikely, although missing out would not be guaranteed whatever the result had been against Reading.

In a bid to bounce back from Easter Monday's defeat at Nottingham Forest, Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis sprung a surprise by recalling midfielder Wing to the starting line-up after hernia surgery.

It was a move that had the desired effect too, even if Boro and the club's fans were dealt an early blow when teenager Loader scored a first senior goal to remember.

After collecting Chris Gunter's throw, the 18-year-old turned John Obi Mikel before finding space and curling brilliantly into the top-left corner of Darren Randolph's net.

That led to a period of nerves in the Middlesbrough defence and the fans had just started to get anxious when things turned around, which was sparked by the performances of Wing and Jonny Howson.

Wing had already hit the post with an earlier effort and seen goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez tip over the crossbar before his persistence did find the net.

The former non-league midfielder was on hand in the 31st minute when Howson's deep right-wing cross bounced off defender Andy Yiadom.

Worse was to come for the Reading full-back because – eight minutes later – he was guilty of tripping George Saville in the area after he had brought down another Howson cross.

Assombalonga, who had the ball in the net but had it ruled out for that trip, then displayed his calmness to stay confident enough to send Martinez the wrong way from the penalty spot to give Middlesbrough the half-time lead.

Rather than build on that the home side – like many other occasions this season – went into their shell and Reading enjoyed more possession after the restart.

Randolph was not seriously tested, but there were scares like when Aden Flint had to block Garath McCleary's goal-bound effort midway through the second half.

There was another too in the dying seconds when substitute Callum Harriott's backheel needed a strong save from Randolph's legs after Yiadom's strong run and centre.

ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'});
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin);
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Press Association Sport staff');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '3eb6c0ef-fdb4-472e-a0c4-8fe03e02540e');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null);
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football');
ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + + location.hash), 'title': 'Lewis Wing returns as Middlesbrough edge Reading to stay in touch with play-offs'});

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Nottingham Forest manager Martin O'Neill pictured on February 12, 2019
Read Next:
O'Neill hails "best performance of the season"
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.

rhs 2.0
1Leeds UnitedLeeds43259969343584
2West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom442216674413382
5Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest4418161057451270
6Cardiff CityCardiff441716116257567
8Swansea CitySwansea441616125752564
9Preston North EndPreston441711165653362
10Bristol City441711165963-462
11Derby CountyDerby441613155860-261
12Blackburn RoversBlackburn441612166057360
13Wigan AthleticWigan441512175453157
15Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds441511185459-556
16Queens Park RangersQPR44159206171-1054
17Stoke CityStoke44148225767-1050
19Birmingham CityBirmingham441214185370-1750
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield441212204965-1648
21Charlton AthleticCharlton441211214859-1147
22Hull City44129235783-2645
23Luton TownLuton44129235080-3045

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!