M Jedinak (15)
M'boro vs A Villa
Sky Bet Ch'ship Play-Offs
5:15pm Saturday 12th May
MIDDLESBROUGH 0-1 ASTON VILLA
Aston Villa take the first steps towards Wembley after Mile Jedinak's first-half header hands Steve Bruce's men a key lead in the play-off semi-final. Promising signs from Boro but they'll need to do much, much better on Tuesday night if they want a place in the showpiece final.
Stay tuned for a full report, highlights and reaction!
90+6: The noise has really ramped up a notch and the Boro fans are willing one last chance for their side...but will it come?
90+4: CLOSE! Fabio has been a real livewire this evening and has just whipped a shot wide, earning a corner in the process. Terry sustains a head injury as the delivery comes in and the skipper is receiving medical attention here.
90+2: OVER! Wild effort by Stewart Downing as he swings a shot over the bar and into the crowd. They won't score an equaliser like that...
90+1: We'll have FIVE minutes of added time here at the Riverside.
89: SUB! That's it for Elmohamady with Bruce keen to not aggravate that hamstring injury any further - Whelan is his replacement.
86: We're well inside the final five minute of normal time; Boro's chances have increased in frequency this half but will they be able to force the equalsier?
Meanwhile, Elmohamady is down clutching his hamstring here and this does not look good whatsoever for Steve Bruce.
84: CHANCES! Johnstone called into action again to push Fabio's cross away from danger, before Besic tries to pick up the rebound but fires off target.
82: CORNER! Top defending from John Terry to put the ball behind for a corner as Bamford was waiting to pounce. Fabio nods the delivery goalwards, but Johnstone claws the ball away.
81: SUB! Villa boss Steve Bruce switches things up once more as Lewis Grabban is replaced by Birkir Bjarnason.
79: CORNER! Traore delivers a pacy corner into the box from the left, but Villa's tight marking does what is it intended to do as Friend is penalised for pushing into Chester.
76: SUB! A change in personnel in the Boro attack as Patrick Bamford replaces Britt Assombalonga. Will he be able to strike the vital equaliser for the hosts?
75: SHOT! Grabban gets himself into a decent position on the left of the box and receives a ball into his feet. He has time to control and pick his spot, but opts to hit the ball first time, which results in a weak effort.
76: YELLOW! Snodgrass the next player to go into the book.
71: SUB! Albert Adomah's race is run and he'll be replaced by Jonathan Kodjia for the final minutes of the 20 minutes or so. He's threatened little, really, but can his replacement cause a stir?
68: OVER! Besic has a big opportunity to cause Villa some problems with a free-kick yards outside the box, but overhits his delivery and it drops well beyond the byline. Huge chance wasted there.
WATCH: VILLA GO CLOSE
Will this be a pivotal moment in this tie? Darren Randolph made this fine save just before half-time to deny Snodgrass and keep his side in the game...
67: CHANCE! Somehow Fabio delivers a wonderful low cross from the right hand side but it evades everyone, including Britt Assombalonga at the far post!
64: SUB! Ayala didn't recover enough to be able to continue here and Fabio sprints onto the pitch to take his place.
61: Ayala is down in some pain here. He's offered help to get to his feet by Besic, but the defender waits for medical attention. Slight worry for Tony Pulis here, with Ayala holding his head in his hands.
57: Snodgrass and Traore battle for possession on the left, but when the Boro winger can't progress any further, the play is pulled back for a Boro fre-kick. Nothing comes from it, mind you.
55: Besic crosses to the near post where Shotton meets the delivery. The ball seems to cross the line via Johnstone, but Bobby Madley says that'll be a goal-kick. Muted protests follow from the full-back...
54: Boro building from the back here and beginning to create some optimism for the home fans. They win a corner on the right and a huge roar goes up from the stands...
49: YELLOW! Gibson is the latest player to go into the book after a clumsy, late challenge on Jedinak. Deserved booking, that.
47: Boro seeing most of the ball in the opening minutes of the first half - can they add to their lead here?
SECOND HALF - MIDDLESBROUGH 0-1 ASTON VILLA
We're back underway at the Riverside!
HALF TIME SPECIALS
We fancy more goals here, and if you do we've enhanced Aston Villa to win & both teams to score to a tasty 5/1.If you fancy Lewis Grabban to score the next goal he's been pushed out to 10/1.
Click here to bet
Advantage Villa at the break, then. It's been a relatively entertaining half with Mile Jedinak flicking on Jack Grealish's corner for the opener and Robert Snodgrass hitting the post moments before the break. Boro will need to step up their game in the second half, but there are plenty of encouraging signs for Tony Pulis to ponder at the break.
Stay tuned because the second half is less than 15 minutes away...
45+1: WIDE! Traore powers past numerous Villa players and regains balance before pulling the trigger, though his shot lacks bend and drops wide.
YELLOW! Late, frustrated challenge on Jedinak by Friend and the latter goes into the book.
44: OFF THE POST! Robert Snodgrass lines up a trademark curling effort from the edge of the box and Darren Randolph springs to his right to get a vital, vital save to push the shot onto the post!
43: It sounds as though the Boro faithful are growing slightly frustrated at their side's showing. There are a few groans here and there but the performance hasn't been below par, they just need to refine their efforts in the final third because Johnstone has seldom been tested so far.
40: Surging run from Jack Grealish, who keeps his balance and looks as though he's going to test Randolph, before a superb challenge from Dani Ayala brings the ball back into Boro custody.
38: SAVE! His influence is growing and this time Britt Assombalonga goes the closest he has done so far this game, but his header doesn't carry enough power to force Johnstone to break a sweat.
37: Sustained spell of pressure on the edge of the Villa box results in a long-range effort from Clayton, but the shot is always rising and another Boro chances goes begging.
WATCH: JEDINAK'S OPENER
31: WIDE! James Chester is caught ball watching but is lucky as Assombalonga brings a ball down from midfield expertly, before smashing the subsequent effort into row Z.
32: OVER! Friend is caught ball watching at the other end as Snodgrass heads narrowly over the bar.
29: Traore gets the better of Grealish and then he sends Adomah flying by a sheer turn of direction. Boro have a long throw, but Friend's delivery is nodded behind for a corner by Hutton.
OVER! Lack of communication between Hutton and Johnstone and the Scottish full-back heads behind for another corner.
27: Adomah has hit the deck after being knocked to the ground by a host of Boro bodies and the visitors will have a free-kick inside their own half.
22: Villa are looking menacing on the attack since that first goal. They are enjoying a nice spell of possession here, before Grealish is targeted once more and brought down clumsily by Traore, who scrapes his studs down the back of the midfielder's Achilles.
23: CORNER! Randolph spills a fairly routine header from Jedinak over the byline and Villa win another corner, though nothing comes of Grealish's delivery.
20: SHOT! Grealish tries to pick his spot on the edge of the area, but his effort trickles into the hands of Randoplh in the end.
20: That's just the opening Steve Bruce would've been hoping for. But are Villa going to rest on their laurels or are we in for a thriller?
GOAL! MIDDLESBROUGH 0-1 ASTON VILLA (Jedinak, 15)
It's basic stuff, but what a header from Mile Jedinak! Jack Grealish sends in the corner from the left hand side and Jedinak rises high above the Boro backline to beat Randolph with a flicked header that creeps over the line via the far post!
MIDDLESBROUGH 0-0 ASTON VILLA
13: FOUL! Howson hauls Grealish to the ground for the second time this game, but Bobby Madley lets that one go and instead retrospectively books Hourihane for both and foul and a handball as he tussled with Besic.
11: Traore delivers a corner from the left hand side this time, but it's headed straight out and Boro return the ball to their sturdy backline. They gradually work the ball back upfield, but the momentum slows and Johnstone smashes the ball into the stands as Traore closes in.
SHOT! Moments later, Hutton heads a cross out of defence and straight to Besic, who volleys a first-time effort well over the bar. The Boro man is capable of producing moments of magic on occasion, but that won't go down as one of them.
7: Boro are pinging the ball around nicely, but Grealish cuts out the ball and feeds Adomah. His cross is blocked and now Villa pass it around on the right hand flank. It's looking like a cagey affair already...
Snodgrass finds himself in a superb spot on the edge of the box, but opts to seek out Grabban and fails. That was a golden chance, but the Scot has spurned it.
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