England's Bamford fires Boro to victory over Derby

Saturday 13 Dec 2014
Patrick Bamford scored one and won a penalty for Boro against Derby County
England Under-21s pair Patrick Bamford and Ben Gibson helped Middlesbrough to a 2-0 victory over Championship rivals Derby County in Saturday's lunchtime kick-off.

Defender Gibson wore a Petr Cech-style head guard throughout the game after receiving 20-plus stitches earlier this week following a nasty cut picked up in training, but he showed no ill-effects as he helped his side climb to the top of the Championship albeit for just a few hours.

England Under-21s defender Ben Gibson.

Gibson featured in defence as Boro took top spot in the Championship

The clash exploded into life after just six minutes, with Bamford scoring his sixth goal for Boro since joining the club on loan from Chelsea earlier this season.

Adam Reach, who represented the Young Lions himself in the U20 World Cup last year, peeled away down the left before cutting it back to Bamford who produced a neat left-footed finish across the 'keeper and in off the far post.

Bamford continued to impress against a team who he played for on loan last season as they dominated the first half, but were unable to add to their lead before the break.

County, league leaders at the start of the proceedings, introduced England U20 winger Jordon Ibe from the bench at the interval and Under-21s midfielder Will Hughes on 61 minutes - but within seconds of the latter's introduction his side were a man down and facing a penalty.

Bamford, who was substituted ten minutes later to a standing ovation, was the man about to pull the trigger from six yards before Ryan Shotton brought him down. The Rams defender received his marching orders, and it allowed Grant Leadbitter to convert the spot-kick to seal the 2-0 win.

The north-east side's stay at the top was a short lived one however as AFC Bournemouth, with Under-21s striker Callum Wilson scoring in their 5-3 win over Cardiff City, were able to overtake them later in the day.

"Of course it meant something [scoring against his former club], I think last year when I was there they thought I was a bit soft, so I wanted to show them," said Bamford after the game

"I didn't have the best night's sleep, and my tummy was churning with butterflies, so it was nice to score against them.

"I think it was my first touch of the game. It was an important goal as in the first half we didn't really play to our potential and struggled to get the ball. 

"But [in the] second half we came out and did much better and we deserved it."

Both Gibson and Bamford will be hoping to feature for England at the Riverside next year too, when the Three Lions face Germany at the venue in March. Tickets for that game are on sale now by clicking here.

By Gary Stonehouse Staff Writer