Blackburn Rovers 2-1 Middlesbrough

Hope Akpan heads Blackburn's winner

Hope Akpan’s third goal of the season gave Rovers the lead

Goals from Hope Akpan and Danny Graham sealed victory for Blackburn Rovers against Middlesbrough, who missed the chance to go top of the Championship.

Boro, who needed a point, were undone by a deep cross to the back post that Akpan nodded in early after the break.

Graham made it four goals in four games against Boro when he took in Simeon Jackson’s flick-on and smashed in.

Adam Forshaw’s late goal gave the Teessiders hope in injury time, but it came too late to rescue a point.

Home goalkeeper Jason Steele denied striker Jordan Rhodes three times in one-on-one situations, as the two came up against their respective former clubs.

Scotland international Rhodes and Ritchie De Laet both had penalty claims as Boro pressed, but they were waved away by referee Andrew Madley.

Rovers’ second win in a row moves them up to 16th in the table, and they might have enjoyed a more comfortable finish had Matt Grimes turned in two half-chances.

Defeat for Aitor Karanka’s visitors, who stay third, was compounded by the loss of captain Grant Leadbitter to a hamstring injury in the second half.

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