Middlesbrough 1-1 Bristol City: Carrick's side hit back for a draw
In-form Chuba Akpom was on target again to earn a 1-1 draw for Middlesbrough against Bristol City in Michael Carrick’s first game in charge at the Riverside.
Ex-Arsenal man Akpom struck for the third time in as many matches under Carrick as Boro came from behind to pick up a point in a contest they dominated for long periods.
Andreas Weimann had put the visitors ahead but their winless run in the Championship extended to four games.
Carrick unsurprisingly named the same team that started the midweek win at Hull – a victory that has raised hope of a climb up the table.
And Middlesbrough started as they finished at the KCOM Stadium, bursting out of the blocks and creating the first opening inside the first minute when Hayden Hackney fired over after a Marcus Forss cross was only half cleared.
Riley McGree had a glorious chance when he was sent through by Jonny Howson, but was denied by a fine Max O’Leary save, with the Robins managing to scramble clear as Akpom looked to pounce on the rebound.
Middlesbrough were punished for spurning those early opportunities when City scored from their first attack of the game after 10 minutes, with Weimann on hand to slot home at the back post following a counter.
The hosts did not let the early setback knock them off stride, with Forss and McGree both engineering openings for themselves down the left but they were each denied by O’Leary.
It was down the left that Middlesbrough looked most dangerous and another opportunity was created down the flank just before the half-hour mark when Ryan Giles’ cross was met by Forss, who could not keep his header down.
The home attacks kept coming and McGree forced yet another save from O’Leary with a fierce drive that was touched over.
Boro’s frustrations continued in the dying seconds of the first half, with Forss hitting the base of the post before McGree and Isaiah Jones had penalty appeals waved away when they went down in the box.
But all the pressure finally paid off just three minutes into the second period when Akpom turned in McGree’s cross to continue his superb run of form and get Middlesbrough back on level terms.
The equaliser forced a reaction from City, who created a rare opening just before the hour mark when Antoine Semenyo fired over the bar under pressure inside the box.
Middlesbrough continued to probe and pushed for the winner but City held out.
McGree went the closest in stoppage time when he had a shot from distance palmed away by O’Leary but there to be no winner and the Robins returned south with a point.