Report: Middlesbrough 3-1 Wednesday
The Riverside Stadium
9/11/12 - 7.45pm
Wednesday suffered their second straight defeat as Middlesbrough ran out 3-1 winners at The Riverside Stadium to move top of the Championship on Friday night.
Justin Hoyte's superb 13th-minute strike fired Tony Mowbray's men ahead but Gary Madine got the Owls back on level terms three minutes into the second half. Ishmael Miller struck on the hour to see Boro regain their lead and Lukas Jutkiewicz secured the win for Tony Mowbray's in-form side.
It was always going to be a tough ask for Wednesday to get anything from a side who went into the game on the back of eight matches without defeat in all competitions and with the chance to take top-spot in front of a bumper home crowd.
So it proved, with Tony Mowbray's men proving just why they're firm candidates for promotion this season with a comprehensive victory to leave the Owls hovering over the relegation zone.
Owls boss Dave Jones made two changes to the side that lost against Blackpool in midweek, with Gary Madine returning to the starting line-up in place of Gary Madine and Paul Corry shook off an ankle injury to return in place of Rhys McCabe.
Boro were keen to impress in front of their biggest crowd of the season but Wednesday dealt with the hosts' early threat pretty well, with goalkeeper Chris Kirkland relatively untroubled in goal in the opening exchanges.
In fact, it was Wednesday who had the best early chance from a Michail Antonio free-kick. His deep cross found Corry, who headed the ball back into the danger zone and into the path of Miguel Llera, who has his shot well charged down by the Boro defence.
The Owls' resilience at the back didn't last, however, as Boro took the lead in the 13th minute through Hoyte, who smashed a superb first-time effort beyond Kirkland for the opener.
Wednesday looked for a response and Jay Bothroyd had a decent chance to level when he carefully controlled an Antonio cross and forced a good save from Boro stopper Jason Steele.
At the other end Josh McEachran, earmarked as the man to watch in Vital's pre-match preview, came close to doubling Boro's lead when he got through a wall of Wednesday defenders but Kirkland came to the visitors' rescue.
Wednesday did have two great chances to get on level terms just minutes before the break, however. Antonio was again the danger man when he saw his effort tipped wide by Steele and, from the resulting corner, Llera blasted an effort inches over the bar.
The visitors' continued their momentum into the start of the second half and got their rewards with a leveller three minutes after the restart.
Antonio put a long Bothroyd ball into the path of Madine, who blasted his effort beyond Steele and wheeled away in celebration, despite cries of offside by the Boro defence falling on deaf ears.
But instead of building on their leveller, Wednesday went into their shell somewhat and allowed the hosts to regain control of the game.
Boro regained their lead on the hour mark when Scott McDonald guided his shot goal-bound and Miller made sure the effort found the back of the net to leave Wednesday with it all to do again.
And their victory was complete with 14 minutes to go as Jutkiewicz headed home Leadbitter's cross to give Boro all three points and leave the Owls licking their wounds following another defeat.
Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte, Woodgate (Hines 46), Bikey, Friend, Leadbitter, Emnes (Haroun 73), Ledesma, McEachran, McDonald, Miller (Jutkiewicz 66). Unused substitutes: Leutwiler, Zemmama, Bailey, Parnaby.
Wednesday: Kirkland, Buxton Llera, Gardner, Jones, Antonio, Semedo, Corry (O`Grady 82), Barkley (McCabe 82), Bothroyd (J Johnson 73), Madine. Unused substitutes: Davies, Taylor, Mattock, Rodri.