Middlesbrough met Plymouth Argyle at Home Park in their first pre-season friendly before their Championship campaign gets underway next month against Watford.
The sides were separated by a solitary goal by Britt Assombalonga, with the DR Congo international heading in a Marcus Tavernier corner just before the break.
Neil Warnock’s side played the better football of the two sides but failed to find the net more than once.
A good chance fell to defender Hayden Coulson who went close, whereas both Marvin Johnson and Paddy McNair were denied by decent saves from the Plymouth ‘keeper between the sticks.
New signing Grant Hall also played his first minutes in a Middlesbrough shirt following his arrival from Queens Park Rangers and nearly scored on his Boro bow.
However, Plymouth did have a good spell in the final stages as they pushed for an equaliser. They were camped in the Boro half but were unable to break down the Teessiders’ resolute defence.
Warnock used all 20 players at his disposal, including a handful that played the full 90 minutes.
Plymouth were playing the third game of their pre-season schedule having faced local team Plymouth Parkway and Scottish giants Rangers so far. Argyle looked a little fitter than their EFL counterparts, however, Middlesbrough just edged it in terms of quality, chances, and in the end, goals.
Boro will play Newcastle United at their training ground Rockcliffe on Tuesday, whereas recently promoted League One side Plymouth take on League Two’s Forest Green Rovers in their next fixture.