Robson punishes Posh
Barry Robson's first goal for Middlesbrough secured a 1-0 home win over bottom club Peterborough.
Last Updated: 13/02/10 5:33pm
Barry Robson's first goal for Middlesbrough kept the club on course for the play-offs after a 1-0 win over bottom club Peterborough United at the Riverside.
The January signing struck after just seven minutes as Boro made it six games unbeaten to stay on the fringes of the top six.
Peterborough threatened occasionally in the second period, but Boro hung to continue their resurgence under Gordon Strachan.
It was far from a vintage performance from the hosts, who had to survive a nervy final few minutes having failed to add to their lead, but the manager will not mind after pocketing another valuable three points.
Peterborough, by contrast, are heading in the opposite direction. They remain winless on the road, rock bottom of the table and 12 points from safety.
Scotland midfielder Robson was handed the captain's armband in the absence of the injured Gary O'Neil and made his mark after only seven minutes.
Jonathan Franks swept in a cross from the left and Robson arrived at the edge of the area to coolly put the ball past Joe Lewis in the Peterborough goal.
Posh would have fallen further behind in the first half but for England Under-21 keeper Lewis, who pulled off fine saves to thwart long-range efforts from Franks and Willo Flood.
Scott McDonald could also have doubled Boro's advantage when he met another cross from Franks but he put his header wide.
But the hosts were given a fright on the stroke of half-time when Lee Frecklington's well-struck shot forced a fine save from Danny Coyne.
Posh continued to improve after the break but, as has been the story throughout the season, they struggled to turn possession into chances.
At the other end the lively Franks managed to fashion a shooting opportunity but his effort flew narrowly wide.
Robson then found Franks in the area with a wonderful cross-field pass but Posh defender Craig Morgan was able to get his tackle in before the winger shaped to shoot.
Robson nearly bagged his second goal of the afternoon when he intercepted a loose ball and charged forward but his curled effort floated the wrong side of the post.
Posh boss Jim Gannon threw on striker Craig Mackail-Smith for the final 10 minutes as his side pushed for an equaliser.
A George Boyd free-kick produced a dramatic late scramble but David Wheater was on hand to block a goalbound effort as Boro clung on.