LOANEE Fernando Amorebieta scored an injury-time winner for Middlesbrough as they beat Brentford 2-1 in the first leg of the Championship play-offs.
Jelle Vossen opened the scoring for Boro in the first-half and Andre Gray’s goal on 55 minutes looked to have secured a draw for the hosts until the on-loan Fulham defender turned super-sub.
It was a pulsating, end-to-end, open game throughout, Brentford’s outstanding Alan Judge seeing a venomous strike from 20 yards tipped round the post before Boro opened the scoring on 25 minutes.
Grant Leadbitter’s blocked free-kick was returned into the box by Adam Clayton and an unmarked Vossen stooped his header into the bottom corner.
Nervousness creeped into the home side, Lee Tomlin forcing David Button into a low save and then Vossen almost doubling his and Boro’s tally but the Belgian’s poke at goal from George Friend’s header was clawed away from the goal-line with the ball ¾ of the way over the line.
The Bees could have levelled minutes before the interval but James Tarkowski powered a header inches over the bar.
Gray, either side of two efforts that narrowly rose over the bar, drew parity on 54 minutes when he capitalised on a needless, disastrous error from a hesitant Dimi Konstantopoulos.
The Greek stopper departed his goalmouth to clear the ball but Gray tackled him and stroked the ball into an empty net.
Adomah demanded a full-stretch save from Button with a looping half-volley soon after, before Jonathan Douglas’s glancing header at the far-post for the Bees was superbly turned away by Dimi.
Brentford mounted a second-half siege on the Boro defence but they resisted and in the third minute of stoppage time substitute Amorebieta volleyed into the net from the edge of the box after a cross was cleared.
Brentford: Button, Odubajo, Dean, Tarkowski, Bidwell; Diagouraga, Douglas, Jota (Dallas, 77), Pritchard; Judge (Smith, 88), Gray
Subs not used: Bonham, MacLeod, Craig, McCormack, Dallas, Toral
Booked: Tarkowski (46), Bidwell (89)
Boro: Konstantopoulos, Whitehead, Ayala, Gibson, Friend; Adomah, Clayton, Leadbitter, Tomlin (Amorebieta, 73); Bamford (Kike, 89), Vossen (Forshaw, 82)
Subs not used: Ripley, Reach, Omeruo, Nsue
Booked: Tomlin (15), Friend (17), Adomah (40), Whitehead (41), Amorebieta (75), Forshaw (84)