Bolton vs Middlesbrough match report: Impressive Kike leaves it late to secure victory for dominant Middlesbrough

Bolton 1 Middlesbrough 2

Macron Stadium

Kike, the Spanish forward with the growing cult reputation on Teesside, scored his third goal in four games since his summer move to English football to maintain a solid start to the season by a Middlesbrough side looking increasingly like potential promotion contenders.

It was a winner that demonstrated how the Spain Under-20 international’s 23 goals helped his former club Real Murcia into last season’s Second Division promotion play-offs in his homeland and also why his compatriot and now manager Aitor Karanka paid £2.7m for his services this summer.

Lee Tomlin and Adam Reach combined after 77 minutes to find the quick-footed Kike inside the Bolton area and, with Bolton’s defenders unable to rob him of the ball, the forward neatly curled the ball around the keeper for a winning goal that leaves their hosts awaiting their first victory of the new campaign.

A Middlesbrough side featuring six summer acquisitions opened the game with an impressive fluidity, the team’s pace on the counter attack and ability to find space suggesting it could be a productive evening for Karanka’s side.

A case in point, inside the opening minute, George Friend found Kike in abundant space just inside the Middlesbrough area and the forward’s neat shot on the turn only just looped over the Bolton cross-bar.

Lee Tomlin, with a shot directly at the goalkeeper Adam Bogdan, Grant Leadbitter and Kike all had sight of goal in the initial thrusts only to find Bolton’s defence committed.

It was against the run of play, therefore, that the home side took the lead on 26 minutes, Craig Davies chasing a through ball into the Middlesbrough area where he was felled, from behind, by Seb Hines, the centre-half fortunate to escape with only a yellow card. Davies himself did an impressive job of beating Tomas Mejias from the resulting spot kick with a firmly-struck right-foot effort.

But after former Middlesborough centre-half David Wheater was judged to have handled a flick-on by Kike, Leadbitter struck an unstoppable right-foot shot past the goalkeeper to equalise before Kike’s second-half winner.

Bolton (4-4-2): Bogdan; McNaughton (White 90), Mills, Wheater, Ream; Feeney, Trotter (Danns 83), Spearing, Chung-Yong; Davies (Beckford 83), Mason.

Substitutes not used Lonergan, Dervite, Pratley, Kamara.

Middlesbrough (4-4-1-1): Mejias; Damia, Omeruo, Hines, Friend; Nsue (Reach 63), Leadbitter, Clayton (Ayala 79), Adomah; Tomlin (Whitehead 89); Kike.

Substitutes not used Konstantopoulos, Williams, Husband, Fewster.

Referee S Martin

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