A late header from on-loan Daniel Ayala salvaged a 2-2 draw for Middlesbrough from a scrappy clash with Watford at the Riverside.

Boro went ahead with a well worked Albert Adomah goal in the first half but Watford levelled through Troy Deeney before the break.

The visitors took the lead in the second half through Fernando Forestieri.

Battle back Boro

  • Middlesbrough have recouped nine points from losing positions this season

But Ayala squared things up in the third minute of added time.

Watford went close in the 11th minute as a slotted pass from Lewis McGugan sent Marco Faraoni racing free into the box but Jason Steele did well to palm away his angled 12-yard drive.

Boro had a chance on 19 minutes as Kei Kamara's downward header from an Adomah cross was blocked.

But Boro took the lead with a well worked opener five minutes later.

Marvin Emnes beat two men then teed up Kamara, who slotted diagonally into the box to pick out the run of Rhys Williams - who backheeled for Adomah to rifle inside the near post.

Post-match: Watford boss Zola

Watford levelled out of the blue on 32 minutes as Marco Cassetti played a quick chip over a static Boro defensive for Deeney to nip through unchallenged and slam home.

Nine minutes before the break Boro won a free-kick just outside the box but Grant Leadbitter's stinging shot was fisted away by goalkeeper Manuel Almunia.

Watford almost broke through in the 40th minute as McGugan sent Daniel Pudil into the box - but he screwed his shot wide.

On the stroke of half-time Boro went close as Emnes crossed for Kamara and his scissor-kick sent keeper Almunia scrambling across to save at far post.

Watford's first foray forward of the second half came in the 57th minute as Murray broke down the right and with no support arriving and Ben Gibson closing in fast he opted to shoot and his low effort drifted well wide of the far post.

Boro had a strong shout for a penalty just past the hour as Gibson put in a glancing header that appeared to hit defender Gabrielle Angella on his outstretched arm but referee Paul Tierney waved play on.

Up the other end Watford threatened as Deeney held off Seb Hines outside the box but he poked his shot wide.

Watford grabbed the lead after a defensive blunder on 73 minutes.

Deeney played a ball forward for Forestieri and defender Ayala missed a chance to clear, leaving the striker free to get into the box and slam a low shot that Steele got a hand too but could not keep out.

Watford threatened with 10 minutes remaining as Murray cut inside as the Boro defenders dithered and stood off him - but he shot just over.

Boro were almost back in it on 86 minutes when Ayala flicked on a Jacob Butterfield ball - but Kamara headed straight at the keeper from close range.

However, the home side salvaged a point deep into stoppage time as Ayala headed in from Leadbitter's corner.

Middlesbrough caretaker boss Mark Venus:

"The lads showed real character and spirit to keep going and get that equalising goal right at the end.

"We started off well and went a goal up and we deserved that, it was a great goal. But the second half was a bit scrappy and it was going nowhere, then there was a costly defensive mistake that let them back into it.

"I was delighted for Daniel. He made the mistake but he made up for it when he got that goal. That shows strength of character and determination."

Watford manager Gianfranco Zola:

"I felt we did not make the most of a couple of very good opportunities to finish it off.

"We made the wrong decisions when we had those chances. We shot when we should have passed and passed when we should have shot.

"But even though we did not take those chances I was surprised not to win the game because I couldn't see Middlesbrough scoring another goal at that stage.

"I was disappointed that we let them back into the game, especially so late and especially from a set-piece."

Lineup, Bookings (6) & Substitutions (6)

Middlesbrough

  • 01 Steele
  • 04 Williams
  • 22 Gibson Booked
  • 07 Leadbitter Booked
  • 15 Hines (Friend - 88' )
  • 26 Ayala
  • 27 Adomah
  • 33 Smallwood
  • 29 Kamara
  • 10 Emnes (Butterfield - 78' )
  • 19 Carayol (Halliday - 78' )

Substitutes

  • 03 Friend
  • 05 Richardson
  • 06 Butterfield
  • 09 Jutkiewicz
  • 16 Halliday
  • 18 Whitehead
  • 32 Leutwiler

Watford

  • 01 Almunia
  • 19 Faraoni Booked
  • 18 Pudil
  • 27 Cassetti
  • 04 Angella
  • 12 Doyley (Belkalem - 45' )
  • 16 Murray Booked
  • 23 Iriney (McEachran - 68' )
  • 09 Deeney Booked
  • 11 Forestieri
  • 10 McGugan Booked (Battocchio - 77' )

Substitutes

  • 05 Belkalem
  • 07 Battocchio
  • 08 McEachran
  • 15 Acuña
  • 20 Fabbrini
  • 21 Anya
  • 30 Bond
Ref: Paul Tierney
Att: 14,344

Match Stats

Shots

16 11

On target

6 6

Corners

6 1

Fouls

10 11

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Middlesbrough 2, Watford 2.

90:00 +3:40 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 2, Watford 2.

90:00 +2:18 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Middlesbrough 2, Watford 2. Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Grant Leadbitter with a cross following a corner.

90:00 +2:02

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Joshua McEachran.

87:59 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Middlesbrough. George Friend replaces Sebastian Hines.

87:00 Booking

Booking Troy Deeney (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

86:37

Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

86:37

Foul by Troy Deeney (Watford).

85:59

Attempt saved. Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Richard Smallwood.

85:06

Attempt saved. Kei Kamara (Middlesbrough) header from very close range is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Daniel Ayala.

85:03

Attempt saved. Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) header from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jacob Butterfield.

84:33

Foul by Sean Murray (Watford).

84:33

Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

83:54

Attempt missed. Fernando Forestieri (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

83:06

Foul by Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough).

83:06

Fernando Forestieri (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

81:27

Fernando Forestieri (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

81:27

Foul by Jacob Butterfield (Middlesbrough).

78:13

Attempt missed. Sean Murray (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Cristian Battocchio.

77:56 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Middlesbrough. Brad Halliday replaces Mustapha Carayol.

77:43 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Middlesbrough. Jacob Butterfield replaces Marvin Emnes.

76:24 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Cristian Battocchio replaces Lewis McGugan.

74:06

Gabriele Angella (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

74:06

Foul by Kei Kamara (Middlesbrough).

72:29 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Middlesbrough 1, Watford 2. Fernando Forestieri (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

69:50

Foul by Marco Cassetti (Watford).

69:50

Marvin Emnes (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

68:25

Offside, Watford. Joshua McEachran tries a through ball, but Fernando Forestieri is caught offside.

67:53 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Joshua McEachran replaces Iriney.

67:25

Lewis McGugan (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.

67:25

Foul by Richard Smallwood (Middlesbrough).

66:44

Attempt missed. Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Mustapha Carayol.

64:56

Attempt missed. Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Ben Gibson with a cross.

63:43

Attempt missed. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

61:39

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Lewis McGugan.

61:19 Booking

Booking Lewis McGugan (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

61:15

Foul by Lewis McGugan (Watford).

61:15

Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

60:02

Sean Murray (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

60:02

Foul by Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough).

58:05

Attempt saved. Fernando Forestieri (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Daniel Pudil.

57:23

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Marco Cassetti.

56:24

Attempt missed. Sean Murray (Watford) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Marco Davide Faraoni.

52:24

Troy Deeney (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

52:24

Foul by Sebastian Hines (Middlesbrough).

49:49

Attempt missed. Richard Smallwood (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is too high following a set piece situation.

49:38

Attempt blocked. Richard Smallwood (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Grant Leadbitter with a cross.

48:58

Foul by Sean Murray (Watford).

48:58

Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

45:00

Second Half begins Middlesbrough 1, Watford 1.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Essaïd Belkalem replaces Lloyd Doyley because of an injury.

45:00 +3:39 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Middlesbrough 1, Watford 1.

44:35

Attempt saved. Kei Kamara (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Marvin Emnes with a cross.

42:04

Attempt saved. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lloyd Doyley.

40:08

Attempt missed. Daniel Pudil (Watford) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Lewis McGugan.

39:19

Attempt missed. Kei Kamara (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Richard Smallwood.

37:12

Attempt saved. Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is saved in the top centre of the goal.

36:29 Booking

Booking Marco Davide Faraoni (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

36:20

Foul by Marco Davide Faraoni (Watford).

36:20

Mustapha Carayol (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

34:32

Attempt blocked. Marvin Emnes (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Kei Kamara with a headed pass.

33:26

Foul by Marco Davide Faraoni (Watford).

33:26

Kei Kamara (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

32:36

Attempt saved. Lewis McGugan (Watford) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Fernando Forestieri.

31:04 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Middlesbrough 1, Watford 1. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Marco Cassetti with a through ball.

29:21

Fernando Forestieri (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

29:21

Foul by Sebastian Hines (Middlesbrough).

28:09 Booking

Booking Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

28:02

Marco Davide Faraoni (Watford) wins a free kick on the right wing.

28:02

Foul by Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough).

26:42

Offside, Middlesbrough. Marvin Emnes tries a through ball, but Albert Adomah is caught offside.

25:00

Foul by Troy Deeney (Watford).

25:00

Sebastian Hines (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

22:56 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Middlesbrough 1, Watford 0. Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Rhys Williams.

22:17

Offside, Watford. Daniel Pudil tries a through ball, but Troy Deeney is caught offside.

20:59

Attempt blocked. Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Marvin Emnes.

17:57

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Iriney.

17:26

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Marco Cassetti.

17:17

Attempt blocked. Kei Kamara (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Albert Adomah with a cross.

15:34

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Marco Cassetti.

14:26

Troy Deeney (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

14:26

Foul by Sebastian Hines (Middlesbrough).

13:53 Booking

Booking Sean Murray (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

13:35

Foul by Sean Murray (Watford).

13:35

Mustapha Carayol (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

11:31

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Jason Steele.

11:25

Attempt saved. Marco Davide Faraoni (Watford) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Lewis McGugan with a through ball.

9:16

Foul by Daniel Pudil (Watford).

9:16

Sebastian Hines (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

7:31

Iriney (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

7:31

Foul by Kei Kamara (Middlesbrough).

5:57 Booking

Booking Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card.

4:08

Attempt missed. Kei Kamara (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Grant Leadbitter with a cross following a set piece situation.

3:31

Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

3:31

Foul by Marco Cassetti (Watford).

2:27

Offside, Watford. Fernando Forestieri tries a through ball, but Troy Deeney is caught offside.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers