Middlesbrough stretched their unbeaten run in the Championship to six games after grinding out a narrow win against 10-man Charlton Athletic.

Emmanuel Ledesma scored the only goal when his effort bounced over keeper Yohann Thuram-Ulien in the first half.

There were few other chances until a flurry of activity late on after Rhoys Wiggins's red card for Charlton.

Simon Church was inches away from a leveller, before Richie Smallwood's shot was saved at the other end.

The result continued an upturn for Boro since the arrival of head coach Aitor Karanka in November, which now sees them five points off the final play-off spot in ninth.

Buoyant Boro

Middlesbrough have failed to score in only one of their last 12 league games

For Charlton, the defeat saw them drop to 21st, one place above the relegation zone, and left manager Chris Powell awaiting his first victory since Belgian businessman Roland Duchatelet's takeover of the club at the start of the month.

The visitors crafted the first chance of a largely lacklustre affair when striker Yann Kermogant shot wide from 18 yards after being teed up inadvertently by a Dean Whitehead tackle.

Boro took the lead soon after when Argentinean wideman Ledesma sent in a dipping shot from 30 yards that bounced awkwardly in front of keeper Thuram-Ulien and went in.

There was little response from Charlton until the 70th minute, when Church had a goal disallowed after a barge on Boro goalkeeper Shay Given.

Wiggins was soon sent off for a crunching tackle on Whitehead. The disparity did not hold Charlton back, and only Church's failure to reach a Kermogant drive when unmarked near the end prevented them snatching an equaliser.

Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka:

"I was very happy when the final whistle went because I was really suffering there at the end. It was another three points and another clean sheet so I must be satisfied - but it was not a good game.

"But it was a game that we may have lost in the past and it is another win so that is a good thing.

"And it is a big lesson for us. It has showed how difficult it is to win games in the Championship, how hard you must work to get in front and how hard it is to stay there."

Charlton Athletic manager Chris Powell:

"We started off showing Middlesbrough too much respect but we grew into the game. But things are going against us in games at the moment.

"Simon Church's was definitely a goal for me, it was a brave challenge but a fair challenge - there was no danger, no intent and he got there first. And Rhoys, well, the ball ran away from him and he tried to get it back.

"Things haven't gone well for us but we have to keep battling. It will be a tough second half of the season but if we keep showing that spirit then we will give ourselves a fighting chance in every game."

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Middlesbrough

  • 12 Given
  • 08 Varga
  • 03 Friend
  • 18 Whitehead Booked
  • 26 Ayala Booked
  • 04 Williams
  • 11 Ledesma Booked
  • 07 Leadbitter
  • 10 Emnes (Jutkiewicz - 58' )
  • 23 Main (Smallwood - 79' )
  • 19 Carayol (Kamara - 88' )

Substitutes

  • 06 Butterfield
  • 09 Jutkiewicz
  • 13 Konstantopoulos
  • 22 Gibson
  • 29 Kamara
  • 33 Smallwood
  • 39 Woodgate

Charlton Athletic

  • 21 Thuram-Ulien
  • 23 Wilson
  • 16 Wiggins Dismissed
  • 24 Cousins (Ajdarevic - 77' )
  • 05 Morrison
  • 15 Wood
  • 17 Cook (Church - 67' )
  • 08 Stephens
  • 18 Kermorgant
  • 04 Jackson (Green - 67' )
  • 11 Harriott

Substitutes

  • 02 Hughes
  • 03 Evina
  • 06 Dervite
  • 07 Green
  • 09 Church
  • 13 Phillips
  • 42 Ajdarevic
Ref: Keith Stroud
Att: 14,548

Match Stats

Shots

13 7

On target

6 2

Corners

1 3

Fouls

10 8

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Middlesbrough 1, Charlton Athletic 0.

90:00 +5:40 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 1, Charlton Athletic 0.

90:00 +5:17

Attempt saved. Dale Stephens (Charlton Athletic) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

90:00 +4:04

Attempt missed. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Kei Kamara.

90:00 +3:59

Attempt saved. Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lukas Jutkiewicz.

90:00 +2:33

Attempt missed. Lawrie Wilson (Charlton Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Danny Green.

90:00 +1:26 Booking

Booking Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

90:00 +1:14

Foul by Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough).

90:00 +1:14

Yann Kermorgant (Charlton Athletic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

87:48 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Middlesbrough. Kei Kamara replaces Mustapha Carayol.

86:41

Attempt saved. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by József Varga.

86:04

Attempt blocked. Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Lukas Jutkiewicz.

84:52

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

83:59

Delay in match Dean Whitehead (Middlesbrough) because of an injury.

83:30 Dismissal

Dismissal Rhoys Wiggins (Charlton Athletic) is shown the red card.

83:12

Dean Whitehead (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

83:12

Foul by Rhoys Wiggins (Charlton Athletic).

81:03 Booking

Booking Dean Whitehead (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

80:53

Foul by Dean Whitehead (Middlesbrough).

80:53

Yann Kermorgant (Charlton Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

80:18 Booking

Booking Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

80:03

Foul by Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough).

80:03

Callum Harriott (Charlton Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

78:45 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Middlesbrough. Richard Smallwood replaces Curtis Main.

76:33 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Charlton Athletic. Astrit Ajdarevic replaces Jordan Cousins.

76:21

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

75:14

Delay in match Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough) because of an injury.

72:40

Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

72:40

Foul by Danny Green (Charlton Athletic).

69:01

Shay Given (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

69:01

Foul by Simon Church (Charlton Athletic).

66:56

Offside, Charlton Athletic. Danny Green tries a through ball, but Yann Kermorgant is caught offside.

66:39 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Charlton Athletic. Danny Green replaces Johnnie Jackson.

66:26 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Charlton Athletic. Simon Church replaces Jordan Cook.

65:14

George Friend (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

65:14

Foul by Jordan Cook (Charlton Athletic).

63:53

Foul by Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough).

63:53

Lawrie Wilson (Charlton Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

61:34

Attempt saved. Mustapha Carayol (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

57:43

Foul by Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough).

57:43

Jordan Cousins (Charlton Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

57:14 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Middlesbrough. Lukas Jutkiewicz replaces Marvin Emnes.

54:57

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

54:15

Delay in match Dean Whitehead (Middlesbrough) because of an injury.

53:50

Dean Whitehead (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

53:50

Foul by Yann Kermorgant (Charlton Athletic).

51:33

Attempt missed. Richard Wood (Charlton Athletic) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Rhoys Wiggins with a headed pass following a set piece situation.

50:47

Foul by Mustapha Carayol (Middlesbrough).

50:47

Dale Stephens (Charlton Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

49:58

Foul by Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough).

49:58

Jordan Cousins (Charlton Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

49:17

Corner, Charlton Athletic. Conceded by Rhys Williams.

47:08

Offside, Middlesbrough. József Varga tries a through ball, but Curtis Main is caught offside.

46:08

Attempt missed. Dean Whitehead (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Curtis Main.

45:00

Second Half begins Middlesbrough 1, Charlton Athletic 0.

45:00 +1:19 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Middlesbrough 1, Charlton Athletic 0.

45:00 +0:28

Attempt missed. Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from more than 35 yards misses to the right. Assisted by Dean Whitehead with a headed pass.

42:06

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Lawrie Wilson.

41:19

Offside, Middlesbrough. Shay Given tries a through ball, but Marvin Emnes is caught offside.

39:09

Corner, Charlton Athletic. Conceded by Dean Whitehead.

31:27

Attempt blocked. Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right is blocked.

30:49

Marvin Emnes (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

30:49

Foul by Richard Wood (Charlton Athletic).

28:23

Attempt saved. Mustapha Carayol (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Marvin Emnes.

28:15

Attempt saved. Mustapha Carayol (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Marvin Emnes.

23:07

Offside, Charlton Athletic. Yohann Thuram tries a through ball, but Yann Kermorgant is caught offside.

21:28

Attempt missed. Yann Kermorgant (Charlton Athletic) header from a difficult angle on the right is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Rhoys Wiggins following a set piece situation.

20:49

Foul by Marvin Emnes (Middlesbrough).

20:49

Jordan Cousins (Charlton Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

17:12

Shay Given (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

17:12

Foul by Michael Morrison (Charlton Athletic).

16:41

Foul by József Varga (Middlesbrough).

16:41

Callum Harriott (Charlton Athletic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

15:21 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Middlesbrough 1, Charlton Athletic 0. Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Marvin Emnes.

13:14

Attempt missed. Marvin Emnes (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Rhys Williams.

12:23

Attempt saved. Jordan Cousins (Charlton Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Yann Kermorgant.

7:38

Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

7:38

Foul by Yann Kermorgant (Charlton Athletic).

6:53

Attempt missed. Curtis Main (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

6:09

Offside, Middlesbrough. Mustapha Carayol tries a through ball, but Marvin Emnes is caught offside.

4:37

Corner, Charlton Athletic. Conceded by Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma.

4:31

Attempt blocked. Callum Harriott (Charlton Athletic) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

3:59

Foul by Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough).

3:59

Johnnie Jackson (Charlton Athletic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

1:40

Attempt missed. Yann Kermorgant (Charlton Athletic) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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