Boro boss Aitor Karanka was left seething after seeing his side have what would have proved to be a winning goal ruled out for offside against Birmingham City at St Andrews.
The 2-2 draw sees Boro creep ahead of their rivals Burnley and Brighton but both have the right to reply on Bank holiday Monday against QPR and Derby respectively.
It was a tense and nervous end to end game with high drama and controversy, which looked unlikely after the first twenty minutes seemed to be played at a slow and tentative pace.
Karanka bemoaned the decision that went against his team but refused to blame his players. He told The club’s website.
“Some decisions I don’t like, but we have to fight until the end. It was a decision that wasn’t in our hands and we have a point. I prefer not to say anything and focus on our players because they are having an amazing season and I hope they get what they deserve.”
After quiet start to the game a Birmingham goal brought the game to life and what a goal it was. A ball forward wasn’t dealt with adequately by Ritchie de laet and the attempted diving header clear was controlled out of his feet with the first touch and hammered home from outside the box by Gleeson with keeper Konstantopoulos only able to get fingers on it.
boro responded perfectly with a goal just before half time through a calamitous error from Birmingham keeper who spilled a Ramirez free-kick into the path of a grateful Jordan Rhodes who bundled it home.
After the break the game became more open with both teams pressing and counter attacking. It was Boro who moved in front on 56 minutes through Ramirez. A lofted Albert Adomah cross was headed back across goal for Ramirez to nod it home from a yard out.
It looked like it might be an important goal in the tightest of championship title races for many a year but Birmingham were resilient and their hard work was rewarded by another stunning strike from Davis on 68 minutes. Indecision followed a cross from the right and a composed Davis steadied himself and volleyed into the bottom right corner. The crowd were in raptures but a determined Boro side immediately went down the opposite end and as a cross landed at the feet of centre back Dani Ayala, he slammed home from the corner of the box into the bottom corner, only for the linesman to adjudge that Ayala returned from an offside position, despite being a yard onside.
With the away fans incensed Middlesbrough continued to search for a winner, throwing caution to the wind by introducing forwards Stuani and Nugent. It wasn’t to be and now Boro are left hoping other clubs do them a favour on Monday.
It was evident that Karanka wanted to support his team and focus on the positives despite seeing his side throw away a lead after going 2-1 up. He added