Mark Kitching capitalised on some sloppy defending to put the visitors ahead after only eight minutes at Stevenage’s Lamex Stadium, before Joe Wheatley fired in from the edge of the box to make it 2-0 just after the break.
We mustered a response when Will Miller latched onto Shayon Harrison’s pass and slotted home shortly before the hour mark, but Boro stayed strong to run out 2-1 winners and boost their efforts to clamber away from the Barclays Under-21 Premier League drop zone with three points.
“We were poor tonight,” lamented Under-21s Coach Ugo, clearly frustrated with what he’d seen.
“Middlesbrough worked hard, they were solid, compact and made it very difficult for us but we’re very disappointed from our side.
“There were really only three or four of our players that you could pick out who did the basics reasonably well, other than that the standard certainly wasn’t a Tottenham one and hopefully there’s a long reflection on the players’ performances because tonight was really disappointing.”
Ugo was also unhappy with the manner of the goals conceded.
“My first recollection of the opening goal is that the full-back shows the wide player inside instead of outside, one of the main centre-halves misses the ball and a makeshift full-back misses the ball again in behind and their player ends up scoring,” he said.
“Both of their goals could have been avoided but there’s not a lot you can say to that other than that we’ll look at it, we’ll debrief and some of the players will have to face some home truths because from some of them, there needs to be a lot of improvement.”