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Middlesbrough survive early scare against Wycombe to close on play-off places

Wycombe Wanderers v Middlesbrough – Sky Bet Championship – Adams Park
(Image credit: Bradley Collyer)

Middlesbrough maintained their play-off push with a 3-1 comeback win over Wycombe, who remain rooted to the bottom of the Sky Bet Championship.

Uche Ikpeazu’s first goal since joining from Hearts in the summer put the strugglers ahead after just three minutes at Adams Park.

However, Boro responded with two goals in six first-half minutes from Marcus Browne and Marcus Tavernier, before Chuba Akpom made sure of the win late on.

Neil Warnock’s side are now just a point shy of the top six while Wycombe are four points from safety.

The Chairboys were looking to build on their midweek victory over Cardiff and got off to a flyer, with Ikpeazu breaking the deadlock in the third minute on what was only his second start for the club.

After Jack Grimmer found the striker down the left, he cut inside from the right and curled a left-footed shot past the diving Marcus Bettinelli.

Grimmer then fired low into the side-netting as Wanderers looked to add to their lead but Middlesbrough, who had lacked composure early on, soon found their feet with two quickfire goals through Browne and Tavernier.

Browne headed in a Paddy McNair corner on the half-hour mark to draw the visitors level and Tavernier then finished off a driving run by shifting the ball on to his left foot and firing home a low drive.

Wycombe had the chance to pull level shortly before the interval when Daryl Horgan found space down the left before cutting the ball back to Anis Mehmeti, but the teenager saw his strike held by Bettinelli.

The home side threatened again on the hour when Ryan Tafazolli headed narrowly over from a Joe Jacobson corner while Scott Kashket came even closer minutes later, clipping the crossbar with a deflected strike.

The woodwork intervened once more 12 minutes from time, with Boro left frustrated this time when Tavernier’s powerful drive smacked the bar before bouncing down and to safety.

However, Boro ended the game in the ascendancy and McNair was the provider again as his dangerous delivery struck the angle of post and bar and was prodded in by Akpom nine minutes from time.