sport

Boro hold on to beat Burnley

Burnley's Premier League party was put on hold after Jacob Butterfield's strike condemned the Clarets to a 1-0 defeat against Middlesbrough at Turf Moor.

A win for Sean Dyche's side, and a defeat for Derby, could have guaranteed automatic promotion back to the top flight for the first time since the 2009/10 season.

But the Rams won comfortably against Huddersfield, while Burnley came unstuck against an in-form Boro side who have won now won four games on the spin.

Both sides struggled to dominate the opening minutes but it was Burnley who looked the more threatening.

Michael Kightly found space on the right early on before sending a teasing delivery towards Ashley Barnes but last-ditch defending denied the former Brighton man.

That move sparked Dyche's men into life and they came close to breaking the deadlock in the 17th minute.

Kieran Trippier burst down the right channel and produced a trademark inch-perfect delivery to Danny Ings but the striker was unable to hit the target with his left-footed volley.

Despite the pressure, Aitor Karanka's men showed their attacking prowess in the 19th minute - Lee Tomlin finding space on the edge of the box before rifling an effort just wide of Tom Heaton's post.

But moments later the Clarets thought they had broken the deadlock after Kightly's looping header beat Dimi Konstantopoulos but hit the bar, Barnes followed up but failed to hit the target.

Much of the same continued and neat link-up play between Dean Marney and Ings presented the latter with a glorious chance for his 21st league goal of the season.

However, determined defending from Nathaniel Chalobah somehow ensured the striker's effort trickled wide.

Shortly after, Albert Adomah surged into the Burnley half and down the right flank and found Danny Graham just yards out - but his first-time volley flashed over the bar.

After the interval, the hosts came out pressing and should have scored when Kightly weaved into the box and found Ings but Adomah somehow blocked his effort.

But Butterfield sent the away crowd into ecstasy in the 51st minute. Tomlin carried the ball into the Burnley half and released Butterfield, who made no mistake to calmly slot his left-footed strike past Heaton.

It was almost 2-0 four minutes later as Tomlin curled his effort wide but Burnley looked to respond and almost equalised on 72 minutes, Trippier again charging forward and finding Ings - the striker's snap-shot going wide to Dyche's despair.

The hosts continued to press and came close again in the closing stages but Ings again failed to convert from Trippier's teasing cross.

Konstantopoulos remained unflappable in the Boro goal and despite the dismissal of defender Daniel Ayala late on, they were not to be denied another impressive scalp.