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Page last updated at 15:58 GMT, Saturday, 11 April 2009 16:58 UK

Middlesbrough 3-1 Hull

Boro striker Tuncay Sanli put Boro ahead against Hull
Tuncay shows his delight with his opener against Hull

Middlesbrough earned a much-needed win over relegation rivals Hull to give them renewed hope of avoiding the drop.

Tuncay Sanli set the home side on their way when he slotted in after Hull keeper Matt Duke palmed a shot from Afonso Alves into his path.

Manucho levelled with a powerful header but Matthew Bates prodded in Tony McMahon's corner to restore the lead.

David Wheater cleared a Manucho header off the line before Marlon King slotted in to secure Boro's win.

The frenetic nature of the game was predictable given the urgency of the relegation fight both clubs are in and it made for an exciting encounter.

Middlesbrough's situation was more precarious and they produced plenty of early endeavour, which was rewarded with an early goal as Alves charged down an attempted clearance by Hull centre-back Kamil Zayatte and was then played through on goal by King.

Boro have survival hope - Southgate

Alves saw his cross-shot saved by Duke but the Hull keeper could only put it into the path of Tuncay, who gratefully found the net.

Despite the setback, Hull did not take long to regroup and exposed Boro's occasional vulnerability in the air when Nick Barmby's cross was converted by loan striker Manucho.

Wheater headed wide at the other end when Duke failed to punch a Stewart Downing free-kick away before an escape for the home side at the other end.


Craig Fagan was sent through on goal and, after Boro keeper Brad Jones had swatted the ball away from him as he prepared to shoot, Manucho sent the loose ball across the face of goal.

A moment of controversy led to Boro restoring their lead when Ian Ashbee was furious a corner was awarded when he clearly felt he had made his clearance before the ball crossed the line.

Bates stabbed in McMahon's corner to add to Ashbee's anger, with the midfielder picking up a 10th yellow card of the season for his protests, which will rule him out for the next two games.

Downing curled a free-kick just wide for Boro after the break and the game became more fractious as anxiety crept in.

Players under pressure - Brown

Jones missed a cross and needed Wheater to clear Manucho's header off the line, which did nothing for the home side's nerves.

Downing cut inside after being put through on the left flank but his low shot was kept out by Duke but Hull responded with a Dean Marney header which was just too high.

Their hopes of salvaging a point came to nothing disappeared when former Hull player King sidefooted home Boro's third after Jeremie Aliadiere had caught George Boateng in possession.

Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate:
"I thought our work ethic was brilliant.

"We had to be men, we had to stand up and answer some questions that were being posed internally and being thrown at us externally.

"We have give ourselves hope now. We are still in there fighting and you just never know."

Hull boss Phil Brown:
"We asked for a lot but delivered little. It wasn't great play by Middlesbrough, but poor play by us.

"The pressure is being cranked up. It looked as though Middlesbrough responded to that as opposed to us.

"I'm not saying players make mistakes deliberately but the pressure got to the players collectively."

Middlesbrough: Jones, McMahon, Wheater, Huth, Taylor, Bates, Aliadiere (Emnes 90), Downing, Sanli, Alves (Adam Johnson 77), King.
Subs Not Used: Turnbull, Hoyte, Shawky, Riggott, Walker.

Booked: Sanli, Bates, Taylor.

Goals: Sanli 3, Bates 29, King 90.

Hull: Duke, Ricketts, Zayatte, Turner, Dawson, Fagan (Boateng 71), Mendy (Marney 46), Ashbee, Barmby (Folan 62), Geovanni, Manucho.
Subs Not Used: Myhill, Halmosi, Kilbane, Featherstone.

Booked: Ashbee, Ricketts, Boateng.

Goals: Manucho 9.

Att: 32,255

Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Middlesbrough's Tuncay 8.18 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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see also
Southgate relishes 'crucial' win
11 Apr 09 |  Middlesbrough
Premier League as it happened
11 Apr 09 |  Premier League
Saturday's football photos
11 Apr 09 |  Premier League

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