KENYA BROWN - Monday, January 13, 2020
Duane Holmes scored a sublime goal to rescue a point for Derby County while Lynden Gooch and Sunderland stunned Giles Phillips and Wycombe Wanderers to move up in League One.
Middlesbrough 2-2 Derby County
A last-gasp goal from Duane Holmes snatched a victory from Middlesbrough as both teams went on to share the points in the end at the Riverside Stadium.
Holmes started the game for the Rams and went the distance as he scored his first goal of the season.
The initial stage of the first half would be dominated by the host as they came very close to opening the scoring when Lewis Wing was left unmarked in the area to head a corner kick towards Derby's goal. However, his effort went just inches past the target.
The forward missed early on, but he bounced right back to grab his goal in the 16th minute of play when Marcus Tavernier teed him up for a shot outside the area that curled past goalkeeper Ben Hamer.
Derby had an excellent chance to level the score at the half-hour mark when Holmes played a through-ball to Martin Waghorn, but he could not get enough power behind his shot as Middlesbrough goalkeeper Aynsley Pears was able to make the stop.
The second half would see the visitors finally get the equalizer with a little bit of luck. Thomas Lawerence outmuscled Dael Fry for the ball before passing it to Jason Knight. The Irish midfielder then attempted to cross the ball into area only for it to go over the outstretched hand of Pears and hit the post as it crossed over the goal line.
The Rams then had a chance to take the lead when their recent signing Wayne Rooney attempted to tuck in a free-kick. But his shot went over the bar.
Patrick Roberts would then give Middlesbrough the chance to retake the lead when he made a daring run towards the Derby County goal only to be hauled down in the area. This left the referee no choice but to point to the spot for a penalty. Patrick McNair then stepped up to put away the spot-kick, which should have ensured them of the win.
But Derby would have the last say in the game's outcome and Holmes rose to the occasion with a volleyed strike in the 91st minute. Middlesbrough did poorly clearing the ball from their end leaving the American midfielder open to unleash a shot that beat Pears at his near post. It was goal that Middlesbrough head coach Jonathan Woodgate would call in an interview after the game "Paul Scholes-esque".
A well-earned point for Derby as they look to continue their push up the standings and challenge for a promotion playoff place.
The Rams sit in 17th place in the standings with 34 points, eight points behind sixth-place Sheffield Wednesday.
Sunderland 4-0 Wycombe Wanderers
A resurgent Sunderland continued their good form on the day as they left fellow promotion chasers Wycombe Wanderers gobsmacked in their win at the Stadium of Light.
Lynden Gooch, who has played well in recent outings, started for the Black Cats and played 85 minutes. Giles Phillips got the start for Wycombe but came off after 29 minutes.
The host got proceedings going with the first goal coming just six minutes in when Gooch sent a low cross into the path of Charlie Wyke to tap in from close range.
It all seemed too much to handle for the visitors as Sunderland displayed some excellent passing throughout the course of the half. They then rewarded themselves with a second goal in 16th minute as Denver Hume slammed home his effort after running onto a low ball from Jordan Willis.
It went from bad to worse for the visitors as the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty after Gooch was brought down in the area by Anthony Stewart. Chris Maguire then put away the penalty to give him his second goal on the day.
It was a dominant performance from start to finish for Sunderland and Maguire rounded it off with his second goal on the day in the 78th minute. A free-kick to the top left-hand corner of the goal that Wycombe goalkeeper Ryan Allsop would not stop.
It was an impressive win for the Black Cats who are showing that their past struggles are clearly behind them as they make a push for the top of League One.
Sunderland now sits in sixth place in the standings with 38 points.
In the Premier League, Indiana Vassilev was on the bench as Aston Villa were throttled by Manchester City in a 6-1 defeat.
In the Championship, Tim Ream and Fulham were able to hold off Eric Lichaj and Hull City with a 1-0 win. With Leeds United losing and West Bromwich Albion only earning a point over the weekend, the Cottagers have now cut into their lead for an automatic promotion spot.
Geoff Cameron and Queens Park Rangers could do nothing to stop Brentford as the Bees secured a 3-1 win over their London rivals.
Antonee Robinson and Wigan Athletic's struggles continued as they fell to Bristol City by a 2-0 scoreline.
Matt Miazga had to be content with a spot on the bench as Reading shared the points with Nottingham Forest following a 1-1 tie.
Down in League One, Matthew Olosunde and Rotherham United moved up to the top of the standings after securing a 3-1 win over Oxford United.
Charlie Kelman came off the bench to play the last 15 minutes for Southend United as their game with Tranmere Rovers ended in a 0-0 tie.