Middlesbrough striker backed to get it spot on

Missed: Middlesbrough's Britt Assombalonga is off target with his penalty at Luton.
Missed: Middlesbrough's Britt Assombalonga is off target with his penalty at Luton.
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NEW Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate says Britt Assombalonga will remain the club’s penalty taker.

Boro were on course for an opening night Championship win at Luton Town as they led 3-2 when they were awarded a penalty in the 81st minute.

However, Assombalonga blazed over from the spot and James Collins netted with five minutes to go, ensuring the Hatters picked up a point on their first match back in the second tier.

Woodgate, making his managerial bow like opposite number Graeme Jones, said: “It’s one of those things, but Britt will take the next pen and he’ll score, and if he misses that one he’ll take the next one and he’ll score.

“I’ve got a lot of confidence in Britt Assombalonga, he’s my nine, he’s going to score goals all season.

“It was an eventful match. I thought especially in the second half we really went out to win the game. I thought we were excellent, especially how we controlled the game.

“We pressed high, played at times and we left ourselves a bit open, but that’s how I want to play. I want to press teams, I want to score goals, I said that from day one.”

Ashley Fletcher rose highest to nod home Marvin Johnson’s inch-perfect cross with seven minutes gone.

Luton were back on level terms in the 17th minute, captain Sonny Bradley hammering a 22-yard volley beyond Darren Randolph into the roof of the net.

Andrew Shinnie’s 24th-minute corner was met by Martin Cranie to put the hosts 2-1 in front.

Goalkeeper Simon Sluga made a huge error with eight minutes of the first half remaining, Assombalonga’s tame effort eluding his grasp.

In the second half, Boro looked to have scored the crucial third in the 68th minute, Lewis Wing blasting home a swerving drive but Assombalonga skied his penalty and Boro were made to pay.