Lee Hetherington’s 16th-minute opener for Boro saw us trailing at half-time, despite creating a couple of promising openings.
But it was the home side who got themselves further in front when Joe Wheatley found the net shortly after the hour mark, with Hetherington and Harry Chapman adding to the scoreline in the last seven minutes.
Under-18s Coach Kieran selected a young side at Rockliffe Park, but confirmed he saw room for improvement during the second 45 minutes.
“It was a big challenge,” he said. “Having had the FA Youth Cup match during the week, plus an Under-21s game on Monday and an international break upon us, it presented an opportunity to some players who haven’t played as much and it was also an opportunity for some of the Under-16s to get some more exposure at this level.
“In the first half I thought we competed well against a very strong, experienced Middlesbrough side. We played some good football at times and created a couple of opportunities through Ismail Azzaoui, but Middlesbrough always had a threat – especially down the left-hand side.
“Going in 1-0 at half-time I thought we were still very much in the game but in the second half, once they got their second goal, it was disappointing in terms of how we managed the last 30 minutes.
“I thought we played a little bit too open, went chasing the goal in a little bit of a naive fashion and left ourselves open in defence.”
Our next Barclays Under-18 Premier League outing takes us to Everton on Saturday, April 11.