Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray rues dropped points

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MIDDLESBROUGH boss Tony Mowbray was disappointed to see two points slip away at Leicester City last night.

A late goal from Jermaine Beckford denied Boro a victory, though the single point did lift Mowbray’s side back into the npower Championship play-off places.

However, the Boro boss knows his side must start winning again quickly.

“Tom McMahon (who scored Boro’s second goal) did well, but it was similar to what Barry Robson did at Sunderland at the weekend – he scored a great goal and then laid on the equaliser for the other team,” said Mowbray, pictured.

“Ultimately we leave disappointed at not getting all three points having been so close.

“We need to get back to winning ways quickly at the weekend because other teams are starting to put together runs now and are catching us.”

The visitors were the first to threaten after five minutes with Barry Robson sending a shot narrowly wide from just outside the area.

Two minutes later, Leicester took the lead. The ball was hooked into the box from the right and Nugent headed home at the far post from three yards out.

Boro were almost level in the 14th minute when Foxes captain Matt Mills sliced a clearance that had Kasper Schmeichel scrambling across his goal. Fortunately for the hosts the ball bounced wide.

Soon afterwards Marvin Emnes hit a half-volley from the edge of the area that had to be pushed away by the Leicester goalkeeper diving to his right.

Boro equalised after 16 minutes. McMahon’s corner was flicked on at the front post by Seb Hines and McDonald applied the finish from a yard out.

Leicester produced the move of the match just before half-time.

Beckford collected the ball out on the right and cut inside before playing it into Nugent on the edge of the box and continuing his run.

Nugent laid a first-time pass off to Lloyd Dyer, who dinked the ball over the top for Beckford, but his shot just cleared the crossbar.

Steele then had to produce a fingertip save in first half stoppage time to thwart the former Leeds and Everton striker once more.

Beckford threatened again on the hour when a mazy run into the box had to be halted by Steele smothering the ball at his feet.

Pearson made two changes immediately afterwards, handing home debuts to Danny Drinkwater and Nathan Delfouneso. Paul Gallacher and Dyer were the men to make way.

Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray responded with a double substitution of his own in the 69th minute. Kevin Thomson, available again after suspension, and Malaury Martin replaced Robson and Emnes.

Beckford seemed the man most likely to come up with a winner and he almost conjured something magical again midway through the second half but his hooked, left-foot volley from the left side of the area struck the crossbar.

McMahon may have thought he had sealed Boro’s first league win since Boxing Day with a superbly-taken free-kick 11 minutes from time.

It was the first time the 25-year-old had bothered the scoresheet since netting in a 3-2 win at Millwall on February 19, 2011.

But Beckford had other ideas and the lively striker got the goal he deserved in the 86th minute.

McMahon’s back pass always lacked pace and Steele was forced out of his goal to try to clear.

But his kick struck the onrushing Beckford and bounced goalwards, enabling the Leicester striker to level things up with a simple tap-in.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Peltier, Mills, St. Ledger, Konchesky, Dyer (Delfouneso 62), Gallagher (Drinkwater 62), Wellens (Howard 84), Danns, Beckford, Nugent. Subs Not Used: Logan, Morgan. Booked: Nugent, St. Ledger, Danns. Goals: Nugent 7, Beckford 86.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte, Rhys Williams, Bates, McMahon, Hines, Robson (Martin 69), Haroun, Jutkiewicz, McDonald (Halliday 74), Emnes (Thomson 69). Subs Not Used: Ripley, Bennett. Goals: McDonald 17,McMahon 79. Att: 20,512 Ref: Gavin Ward (Surrey).