Vaughan nets as Town draw at the Riverside
James Vaughan took his tally to eleven for the season as the Terriers earned a point at Middlesbrough.
The striker was first to react when Jason Steele parried Oscar Gobern’s powerful effort, to tap home from three yards.
Vaughan’s opener was against the run of play and Middlesbrough deserved to be level when youngster Ben Gibson headed home Grant Leadbitter’s corner.
The home team had the best chance to win the game, but Rhys Williams could only head against the bar, with five minutes left on the clock.
Oscar Gobern and Sean Scannell returned to the side at the expense of Oliver Norwood and Jon Stead as Mark Robins made two changes from the team that drew with Blackpool.
There was a place on the bench again for 18 year-old Duane Holmes while Danny Ward was also back on First Team duty following an ankle injury.
Scannell and Adam Hammill provided plenty of width during the opening exchanges for Town with the latter doing well to turn past George Friend in the third minute, but he failed to find James Vaughan with his cross.
Town pressed hard during the opening quarter as the home side struggled to gain a foothold in the game. The Terriers’ hard work was rewarded in the 18th minute when Jonathan Hogg intercepted Jacob Butterfield’s attempted pass and fed Adam Clayton, who shot just over from range.
Hammill hit the bar for Town with a chipped cross midway through the half, but that was about as good as it got for Mark Robins’ men as Middlesbrough controlled the play and had the better of the chances.
Former Norwich striker Kei Kamara was picking up loose balls around Town’s 18 yard box and twice forced Alex Smithies into smart saves. Boro’s wingers – Mustapha Carayol and Albert Adomah – carried the home side’s greatest threat going forward, though. Former Bristol Rovers winger Carayol drew a good save from Smithies in the 35th minute, when he cut inside Anthony Gerrard and drove low.
Middlesbrough’s dominance continued right to the half-time whistle with Town Captain Peter Clarke forced into a superb clearance inside his own six yard box, after Frazer Richardson had got in down the Terriers’ left.
Boro’s hold on the game continued into the second half with midfielder Grant Leadbitter going close on two separate occasions.
Despite that, it was Town who took the lead and it was that man James Vaughan with the final touch!
Substitute Danny Ward hit the post from Hammill’s cross and when Steele pushed away Oscar Gober’s shot on the rebound; Vaughan pounced to score his 11th of the season on the stroke of the hour.
Former Town striker Lukas Jutkiewicz was introduced by Tony Mowbray in response to Town’s goal and he almost created the equaliser when his chipped cross was headed wide by Kamara from eight yards.
As the game ticked towards the 80 minute mark, Town began to back off Boro and were punished in the 79th minute when young defender Ben Gibson rose highest to plant home Leadbitter’s deep corner.
Town were hanging on at this stage as Middlesbrough piled bodies forward in search of a winner and they almost found one five minutes from time when Captain Rhys Williams cannoned a header onto Smithies’ crossbar.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1):
Alex Smithies; Joel Lynch, Peter Clarke (c), Anthony Gerrard, Jazz Richards; Jonathan Hogg, Oscar Gobern; Sean Scannell (Danny Ward, 53), Adam Clayton, Adam Hammill (Calum Woods, 80); James Vaughan (Jon Stead, 90)
Ian Bennett, Oliver Norwood, Martin Paterson, Duane Holmes
Town bookings: Peter Clarke 75, Jonathan Hogg 81