Steve Bruce’s West Brom made the trip up to Teesside to take on Chris Wilder’s Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium, with both teams hoping to start off the 22/23 Championship campaign with three points.
West Brom came close to taking the lead early after Jed Wallace caught Boro ‘keeper Zack Steffen off his line with an audacious attempt, but the American managed to get a finger to it to tip it over the crossbar.
Boro took the lead in the 10th minute when new signing Ryan Giles linked up well with Chuba Akpom with the latter putting an inviting cross across the box which found a way through the West Brom defence and found Isaiah Jones at the back post to slot it past Button to make it 1-0 to Middlesbrough.
Middlesbrough thought they’d doubled their lead in the 19th minute when a cross from Isaiah Jones found Duncan Watmore, but the striker was caught offside by the linesman.
Both teams piled on the pressure throughout the half but couldn’t find the end product and Middlesbrough went into the changing rooms 1-0 up at half time.
It didn’t take long after the break for West Brom to bounce back. An inch perfect ball from Jake Livermore found Jed Wallace who put a perfect ball into the area which found debutant John Swift in pockets of space to finish past Steffen for his first West Brom goal.
Both ‘keepers stood firm throughout the second half, with both making crucial saves to keep the score level. Both teams were left to rue missed opportunities as the score finished 1-1 in the opening game of the season for both sides.
Middlesbrough travel to QPR next Saturday whereas West Brom have to wait until next Monday for their next game when they play host to Watford.
Middlesbrough Lineup (3-5-2): Steffen, Dijksteel, Lenihan, Bola, Jones, Crooks, Howson, McGree, Giles, Watmore (Forss 63’), Akpom (Coburn 63’)
West Brom Lineup (4-2-3-1): Button, Furlong, O’Shea, Ajayi, Townsend, Livermore, Molumby (Mowatt 90’), Wallace, Swift, Phillips (Diangana 68’), Grant (Dike 78’)