Derby County 1 Middlesbrough 1 - Jordan Hugill proves a great leveller for Boro

ON TARGET: Middlesbrough's Jordan Hugill. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA
ON TARGET: Middlesbrough's Jordan Hugill. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA
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Middlesbrough showed why they are one of the hardest sides to beat in the Championship by coming from behind to hold Derby to a 1-1 draw at Pride Park.

Harry Wilson had fired Derby into an early lead with another spectacular finish but Jordan Hugill buried a second-half header to earn his side a deserved point.

FAIR SHARE: Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA

FAIR SHARE: Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA

Wilson went off injured after the break but Derby could have won it when David Nugent was denied by Darren Randolph near the end.

Derby were unchanged but Middlesbrough were forced into a late switch when defender Aden Flint was injured in the warm-up and was replaced by Danny Batth.

Losing the big centre-back might have unsettled Boro’s defence which was opened up in the second minute when Jack Marriott’s pass released Wilson who flashed a shot past Randolph from just inside the area.

It was just the start Derby needed against a side with such a strong defensive record and Boro struggled to cope with the home side’s quick movement as Florian Jozefzoon fizzed a ball across the six yard box in the 20th minute.

Boro had created little but they went close in the 24th minute when Mo Besic crossed from the right and Lewis Wing and Hugill both had shots blocked.

It sparked a decent spell for the visitors who won a free-kick on the edge of the box in the 36th minute but George Saville’s shot failed to get through the wall.

The first half ended with a flashpoint when Saville’s challenge on Marriott sparked angry reactions from Derby but referee Robert Jones only produced a yellow card.

Wilson had needed treatment in the first half and he lasted only four minutes of the second before he again sank to the turf and was replaced by Tom Huddlestone.

The midfielder lost the ball in the build-up to a Boro break that led to the equaliser in the 53rd minute.

George Friend whipped in a cross from the left and Hugill got between two defenders to head past Scott Carson.

Derby could have gone behind two minutes later when Batth headed straight at Carson from close range but the home side regrouped and stretched Boro with two swift counter-attacks.

The momentum had swung back Derby’s way and a weak clearance fell to Huddlestone on the edge of the area in the 79th minute but his low shot flashed just wide.

Derby had a great chance in the 86th minute when they broke away but Nugent shot straight at Randolph from just inside the area.

Derby County: Carson, Bogle, Keogh, Tomori, Wisdom, Wilson (Huddlestone 49), Evans (Nugent 77), Mount, Waghorn (Holmes 69), Marriott, Jozefzoon. Unused substitutes: Bryson,Pearce,Roos,Lowe.

Middlesbrough: Randolph, Fry, Ayala, Batth, Friend, Besic, Clayton, Howson, Wing, Saville (Downing 71), Hugill (Assombalonga 87). Unused substitutes: McNair, Tavernier, Lonergan, Gestede.

Referee: Robert Jones (Merseyside).