Middlesbrough 1, Bristol City 3: First win in two months for spirited Robins
Against all the odds, Bristol City upset the formbook to beat promotion-chasing Middlesbrough at the Riverside and register their first win in more than two months.
Without a win in 11 games dating back to September 18, the Robins produced a display full of spirit and tenacity to stun the third-placed team.
Albert Adomah deservedly fired City in front after 13 minutes when turning in Joe Bryan's cross.
Ishmael Miller equalised six minutes before the break, but City went back in front when Stephen Pearson netted from close range on 63 minutes.
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And substitute Steven Davies made sure of all three points a minute from time, turning and beating Jason Steele with a curling shot following neat approach play from Adomah.
City boss Derek McInnes packed his midfield in an attempt to stifle Middlesbrough and give the Robins a foothold in the game and the ploy went to plan from the start.
Although third-placed Boro have scored freely this season, they were restricted to shots from range for the most part and Tom Heaton was scarcely troubled by speculative efforts from Miller and Grant Leadbitter.
Instead, it was City who looked the more threatening when going forward and the visitors stunned the home fans when taking a shock lead on 13 minutes.
A patient build-up culminated in Joe Bryan surging past right-back Stuart Parnaby and delivering a low cross for Adomah to score his first goal since September with a side-footed shot from eight yards out.
Stung into a response, Boro should have equalised soon afterwards when Miller left Richard Foster trailing in his wake and crossed for Lukas Jutkiewicz, who somehow contrived to send his header wide of a gaping target from five yards.
Emmanuel Ledesma did manage to put the ball in the net on 23 minutes, but his effort was correctly ruled out by an assistant's offside flag.
City carried a very real threat on the counter-attack and they carved open the home defence once more when Adomah out-stripped Leadbitter, only to then direct his pass behind Kilkenny.
Another rapid raid down the right flank, this time initiated by Foster, presented Stephen Pearson with a clear sight of goal. But when it seemed he must score from 15 yards out, he lent back and sent his shot harmlessly over.
City had strong appeals for a penalty turned down by referee Neil Swarbrick on the half hour. Another excellent cross from Bryan caused Andre Bikey to tangle with Ryan Taylor, who appeared to be bundled to the ground.
Encouraged by that let-off, Boro levelled matters six minutes before the break. Bikey met a Leadbitter corner with a downward header that was turned in by Miller from eight yards out.
City responded in positive fashion and almost regained the lead when Foster and Pearson combined to set-up Adomah, whose drive from the edge of the penalty area was brilliantly turned aside by Jason Steele.
Chances materialised at both ends early in the second half. Heaton punched a Leadbitter corner against an upright and was indebted to Kilkenny, who hacked the ball off the goal-line, while Adomah was unfortunate to see his 18 yard drive come back off the underside of the bar.
Miller was proving a real handful and when he surged past Bryan and delivered a low cross into the mix, Louis Carey had to take evasive action at the expense of a corner.
City were certainly giving as good as they got and they went back in front in the b63rd minute, Danns sending over a cross from the left for Pearson to bundle in at the far post.
Heaton foiled Boro's attempts to grab an equaliser, displaying impressive athleticism to divert a powerful drive from Marvin Emnes over the bar.
Boro boss Tony Mowbray used all three substitutes in a bid to rescue the game, but defiant City continued to keep the home side at bay.
City made the game safe a minute from the end of normal time, substitute Davies seizing upon Adomah's pass, turning his marker and curling a shot beyond Steele from 10 yards out.
Middlesbrough (4-4-2): Steele; Parnaby, Bikey, Hines, Hoyte; Ledesma, Leadbitter, McEachran (Thomson 62), Emnes; Jutkiewicz (McDonald 62), Miller (Williams 72).
City (4-5-1): Heaton; Foster, Carey, Fontaine, Bryan (D Wilson 90); Adomah, Elliott, Kilkenny (Pearson 79), Danns, Pearson; Taylor (Davies 85).
Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire).