Middlesbrough made it three wins from three in the Carabao Cup, as they beat Preston North End on penalties after a 2-2 draw in normal time.
Middlesbrough twice came from behind to draw level, with goals from Ashley Fletcher and Marcus Tavernier meaning the game went the distance. Preston’s Callum Robinson had opened the scoring in the first half, and winger Tom Barkhuizen scored the Lilywhites’ second.
Boro boss Tony Pulis made eleven changes to the side which drew with Swansea at the weekend, giving starts to 16-year old centre-back Nathan Wood, new signing Danny Batth and striker Rudy Gestede who had made his way back from injury this week.
Preston manager Alex Neil on the other hand made just three changes from their previous Championship game, with Ben Pearson, Jordan Storey and Brandon Barker coming in.
The home side opened the scoring on 27 minutes, when Callum Robinson collected a ball in the penalty area and turned his marker before firing a shot past Dimi Konstantopoulos in the Boro goal.
But the lead didn’t last long, and Middlesbrough were soon level. Midfielder Lewis Wing, who may feel aggrieved to have been left out of the Championship side in recent weeks, played a through ball through the middle of the Preston back line to find Ashley Fletcher. The striker made no mistake as he rounded the keeper and put the ball into an empty net.
Barkhuizen put Preston back in front just after the hour mark, striking the ball from the edge of the box and cannoning in off the post.
However, three minutes later and Middlesbrough had another equaliser. Youngster Marcus Tavernier collected the ball 20-yards out, shifted the ball onto his left foot and hit an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
The game went to penalties with Boro scoring all four spot-kicks. Preston midfielders Robinson and Graham Burke both put theirs over the bar meaning Pulis’ side are into the third round.