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Monday, 1 April, 2002, 15:58 GMT 16:58 UK
Boro see off Rams
Branko Strupar of Derby holds off Gareth Southgate of Middlesbrough
Branko Strupar fends off Boro's Gareth Southgate
Derby 0-1 Middlesbrough
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Middlesbrough completed their first Premiership double over Derby after a rare Robbie Mustoe goal gave Steve McClaren's side a vital 1-0 win.

The three points put Boro past the 40-point safety barrier and surely consigned Derby to First Division football for next season.

Mustoe blasted the winner after only 12 minutes when pouncing on Chris Riggott's hesistancy in the penalty box.

  Key moments
12 mins: Mustoe bags winner
46 mins: Christie and Kinkladze replace Ravanelli and Strupar
70 mins: Paul Boertien drifts a header wide for Derby

Derby pushed forward for an equaliser, especially in the second half, but could not get past Mark Crossley in the Boro goal.

Rams keeper Andy Oakes did well to punch away an inswinging corner from Boro's Benito Carbone before Boro broke the deadlock in the 12th minute.

Middlesbrough made the breakthrough after a moment of hesitancy from England Under-21 defender Riggott.

Riggott lost possession to Mustoe, who took full advantage to sweep the ball home for a rare Premiership goal.


That's the worst we have played in the nine matches since I've been here
Derby boss John Gregory

A period of mediocrity ensued with both sides creating little, but five minutes before the interval Robert Lee demanded a good save from Crossley after a fine lay-off from Fabizio Ravanelli.

The only other chance in the first half came from another Derby mistake when Boro's Franck Queudrue nearly cashed in on a poor Oakes clearance.

The home supporters became increasingly frustrated as the game unfolded with entertainment at Pride Park at a premium.

Warren Barton (L) and Middlesbrough's Jonathan Greening in action
Derby's Barton and Boro's Greening in Pride Park action

Rams boss John Gregory brought off both his main strikers in Ravanelli and Branko Strupar at the interval, in a real gamble for Premiership survival

Malcolm Christie, sidelined with a hamstring injury, and Georgi Kinkladze were called up by Gregory to try and fashion an unlikely win.

Lee Morris moved up to partner Christie in a new front-line partnership with Kinklazde occupying the vacant slot in midfield.

Kinkladze picked out Morris in the 50th minute with a good cross. However Morris's header failed to trouble keeper Crossley.


I'm very satisfied that we've got over the 40 point mark and we've improved since the turn of the year
Boro boss Steve McLaren

However, in the 66th minute, Boro's Jonathan Greening got clear down the Derby right.

The former Man Utd midfielder delivered a good ball into the area, only for Luciano Zavango to make a timely clearance for the Rams.

Derby eventually began to fashion some openings and Paul Boertien went nearest to levelling from a Warren Barton cross, but his header drifted wide.


Derby: Oakes, Barton, Riggott, Higginbotham, Zavagno (Elliott 83), Valakari, Lee, Boertien, Morris, Ravanelli (Christie 45), Strupar (Kinkladze 45).
Subs Not Used: Foletti, Grenet.
Booked: Barton.

Middlesbrough: Crossley, Stockdale, Southgate, Ehiogu, Queudrue, Wilkshire, Ince, Greening, Mustoe, Carbone, Whelan.
Subs Not Used: Beresford, Festa, Windass, Marinelli, Johnston.

Att: 30,822

Referee: P Durkin (Dorset)

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Alan Biggs
"A massive body blow for Derby"
Links to more Eng Prem stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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