Date: 9th August 2014 at 5:01pm
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The team for this game lined up in a 4-2-3-1, Gleeson was given the nob to hold midfield with David Edgar. Gray was rewarded for a great pre-season with a start alongside Shinnie and Novak. Thomas then won the nod up front ahead of Clayton Donaldson.

Ben Gibson went down injured just two minutes into the new season and was applauded off as Kenneth Omeruo came on to replace him. In the early stages Middlesbrough held the ball up well with Kike and Albert Adomah was causing problems down the right hand side.

16 minutes in, Demarai Gray fired a free kick just over the bar from 30 yards. Middlesbrough`s pressure continued though, George Friend whipped across to the back post that was cleared for a corner.

21 minutes, Boro got through on goal after Lee Tomlin found Kike. Kike shot over the bar. Mid-way through the half Middlesbrough were retaining the ball but failing to create any more chances.

29 minutes, Tomlin had an opportunity to work the keeper but shot wide of the left post. 33 minutes gone and Middlesbrough finally found the goal they had been looking for. Danny Ayala headed in from Grant Leadbitter`s corner.

There was an extended period of heightened pressure following the goal; Kike was causing Birmingham`s defence problems with his hold up play. Boro` registered another shot on goal, 41 minutes; George Friend`s long range effort went over.

43 minutes, Friend cut into the box from the left hand side before fluffing his shot. The half-finished with Middlesbrough comfortably on top in the game. Blues not managing a shot on target out of three attempts.

50 minutes, Randolph forced into a good save from Adomah as he broke down the right. Again Middlesbrough came forward, a ball into the six yard box well cleared by Blues. Birmingham then hit back with Thomas finding some space but sliced his shot, making it an easy take for Mejias.

Lee Clark was the first to make a tactical change on 55 minutes. Duffy was brought on to replace Andrew Shinnie. Middlesbrough continued to trouble Birmingham, Randolph saved a shot from Adomah, 63 minutes.

A fortunate deflection handed Middlesbrough their second goal. Tomlin`s deflected shot fell into the path of Kike who scored past Randolph from 10 yards, 66 minutes. Clark responded by brining on Clayton Donaldson for Wes Thomas.

73 minutes, a Leadbitter free-kick found Kike for Randolph to block the shot. Middlesbrough continued to be in complete control, Adam Reach played in a good ball and after Kike went close Emilio Nsue forced a good save from Randolph.

The game finished with Middlesbrough recording a relatively comfortable home victory. Birmingham unable to create any chances to trouble the score line whilst Middlesbrough may well have had a few more if it wasn`t for Darren Randolph in goal for the Blues.

 

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