Mid­dles­brough..1 Black­burn..1 As­som­ba­longa’s won­der a point for 10-man Boro

Daily Star Sunday - - RESULT! - By Si­mon Bird

but Char­lie Mul­grew stepped up with his left foot. The Scot took ad­van­tage of a badly lined-up Boro wall, and goal­keeper Dar­ren Ran­dolph’s con­fi­dence dip, and curled in a beauty.

The Teessiders were grow­ing im­pa­tient but fought back from the restart with As­som­ba­longa in­tro­duced to help Jor­dan Hugill.

And they com­bined to level the scores in the 62nd minute. Hugill laid off to the £15m striker who curled home a bril­liant, top-cor­ner shot from 20 yards.

Boro are set-up solidly with the tight­est back line in the Cham­pi­onship but their prob­lem is scor­ing goals. And when they are at the River­side they lack the at­tack­ing pace to break teams down hav­ing sold Adama Traore in the sum­mer.

Pulis is hop­ing to cling on to the au­to­matic pro­mo­tion race into Jan­uary be­fore he gets a chance to re­vamp his squad.

He was an­noyed at two other chances missed by As­som­ba­longa as they pushed for a sec­ond-half win­ner.

He said: “Britt scored a good goal, but had BRITT AS­SOM­BA­LONGA’S equaliser was Mid­dles­brough’s first goal from out­side the box this sea­son. Until yes­ter­day all pre­vi­ous 22 goals were from in­side the box – the only such record in the league. two other chances. For one, the as­sis­tant ref put her flag up. He was a yard on­side. He missed it but he was a yard on.

“The last chance, with­out be­ing too crit­i­cal, he has to score those chances. We need a bit more qual­ity up front.”

Rovers could have had three in the first half, the best of their chances see­ing Danny Gra­ham forc­ing a good save from Ran­dolph.

Dack hit the post af­ter 51 min­utes be­fore Hugill went clear on goal on the hour but was stopped by a goal-sav­ing tackle by Mul­grew.

Five min­utes from time As­som­ba­longa should have scored when clear on goal but Paul Down­ing hooked clear.

Rovers boss Tony Mowbray said: “There is frus­tra­tion in the dress­ing room. We should not have dropped points.

“We needed a sec­ond goal. Boro are so solid, even with 10 men.

“We hit a post, go into into good ar­eas. Boro’s goal was bril­liant.

We didn’t show re­silience that we have done on the road.”

Pulis ad­mit­ted the home form is a concern. Boro now sit seven points off Nor­wich, the lead­ers, and six off Leeds in sec­ond.

Their pro­mo­tion dream could hinge on find­ing a ruth­less striker – and loos­en­ing up the tac­tics to let his team have a go.

But he praised their at­ti­tude and added: “We had 10 men but it was their play­ers who were go­ing down with cramp.

“I can’t fault my lads. They ran their socks off and had a go.”

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