Mowbray delight as Middlesbrough end barren run

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TONY Mowbray hailed the spirit of his side after they came from behind to finally clock up their first win at the Riverside Stadium this season.

The Boro boss had been under mounting pressure after a string of draws left his side languishing in the lower reaches of the Championship, but was upbeat after a vital victory.

“We gifted them an early goal but the reaction to that was very positive,” he said.

“We got the equaliser very quickly, we went ahead, we hit the bar, we hit the post, and we got ahead and stayed composed. It was a good display.

“So is it a relief? I don’t think so. We have been playing well in recent weeks and we knew it would come.

“But yes, it is important to turn those good performances into wins. Six draws from 11 games is too many and all of those felt like defeats to us because we probably warranted more than a single point in all of those.

“We have never lacked confidence. We have played some very good football over the season.”

But Mowbray admitted that the team was still far from the finished product and are leaking too many costly goals.

“We know we maybe need to add some more quality at the back and cut out the individual mistakes that are leading to goals against us,” he said.

“We’ve only had one clean sheet all season and that’s not enough if we are to get out of this league so that is something we have to work on over the next few weeks.”

Yeovil stunned the home side when they took their fourth-minute lead.

Home skipper Rhys Williams failed to cut out a long header forward leaving Liam Davis free to race forward and shoot through the legs of the advancing Jason Steele.

Boro were level after eight minutes as a corner was half-cleared and Albert Adomah chipped it back to the edge of the box where Grant Leadbitter sent a half-volley bouncing through the crowd and into the net.

Yeovil were then almost behind on 12 minutes when Boro twice rattled the woodwork in quick succession.

Adomah crossed from the right for Kei Kamara to first thump a header down off the crossbar and then stab the rebound against the post before it was scrambled away.

Boro went ahead from the penalty spot on 24 minutes after over-lapping full-back George Friend was brought down by Joel Grant. Goalkeeper Hennessey did well to push Leadbitter’s spot-kick onto the post but Adomah reacted first to stab the rebound home.

Boro started brightly after the break and deservedly extended their lead on 50 minutes.

Jacob Butterfield played a neat one-two with Leadbitter to find space 25 yards out then slammed his low shot inside the far post.

Yeovil almost pulled one straight back two minutes later as Davis cut down the right and squared for Sam Hoskins to skip into the box and smash in a 12-yard shot that beat the goalkeeper but came back off the post.

Boro then enjoyed a long spell of patient possession before scoring a fourth on 74 minutes, Kamara powering home a header from a Mustapha Carayol corner.

It should have been 5-1 on 81 minutes as Carayol sent Friend surging forward into the box to square for Kamara but somehow he scooped over from eight yards out.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Richardson (Hoyte 77), R Williams, Gibson, Friend, Butterfield, Leadbitter (Varga 78), Whitehead, Adomah, Emnes (Carayol 62), Kamara. Subs not used: Jutkiewicz, Hines, Leutwiler, Smallwood. Goals: Leadbitter 8, Adomah 24, Butterfield 50, Kamara 74.

Yeovil: Hennessey, Edwards, Duffy, Webster, McAllister (Dawson 79), Grant, Upson, Ralls, Davis, Madden (Moore 46), Williams (Hoskins 33). Subs not used: Ayling, Seaborne, Foley, Dunn. Booked: McAllister, Ralls. Goals: Davis 4.

Att: 13,181. Ref: Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire).