Doncaster Rovers suffered a second successive heavy away defeat in the Championship tonight, losing 4-0 at managerless Middlesbrough.
Goals either side of half-time from Albert Adomah (2), Kei Kamara and Daniel Ayala ensured Boro claimed their 10th win in 13 league meetings with Rovers.
Adomah opened the scoring in the eighth minute after racing on to Kamara’s clever through ball and the in-form winger coolly lifted his shot over the stranded Ross Turnbull to claim his third goal in two outings.
The hosts nearly doubled their lead in the 16th minute when the dangerous Mustapha Carayol skipped past Paul Quinn before seeing his low right foot drive superbly kept out by Turnbull, playing against his former club.
Moments later, Reece Wabara, on loan from Manchester City, tried his luck from distance but his effort was comfortably gathered by Jason Steele.
Carayol blazed over when well-placed after a neat lay-off from Marvin Emnes in the 26th minute as Boro continued to dominate proceedings.
Grant Leadbitter was lucky only to receive a yellow card after a late challenge on Dean Furman, making his 200th senior appearance in club football.
Adomah deservedly increased Middlesbrough’s advantage in the 34th minute when he met Richard Smallwood’s teasing cross with a powerful downward header which gave Turnbull no chance.
Dickov made one enforced change to his starting line-up. With Richie Wellens serving a one-match ban after collecting his fifth booking of the season in last Saturday’s defeat at Reading, the Scot has recalled Theo Robinson, who made a big impact after coming as a substitute at the Madjeski Stadium.
Captain Rob Jones has been declared fit to play despite picking up an arm injury versus the Royals.
Just an hour before kick-off, Dickov completed the signing of Yun Suk-Young. The young left-back has arrived on loan from Queens Park Rangers and is set to remain with the South Yorkshire outfit until December 31. Dickov has included the South Korean on the substitutes bench. Suk-Young has been brought in as cover for James Husband, who is sidelined with a shoulder injury.
Dickov’s side nearly reduced their arrears on the stroke of half time but Jones failed to connect with Mark Duffy’s corner. Duffy, a lively figure throughout, saw his strike fisted away to safety by Steele as Rovers threatened a comeback.
Dickov brought on Yun at half-time for Quinn, who had picked up a dead leg. Wabara switched to right-back, allowing Yun to play in his preferred left-back position.
Less than a minute into the second period, Duffy’s free kick nearly deflected in off Rhys Williams. Thankfully, as far as Middlesbrough were concerned, his sliced clearance drifted wide.
Ayala, on his Boro debut, should have made it three in the 62nd minute but his header from Mustapha Carayol’s corner was hacked clear by Jones inside the six-yard box.
But the hosts wrapped up the points in the 67th minute when Kamara escaped his marker at the back post to tap in Grant Leadbitter’s lovely free-kick.
With 10 minutes remaining, Rovers came close to grabbing a consolation through Chris Brown but the striker’s deft header from substitute David Cotterill’s centre rebounded off the right hand post and bounced away to safety.
Turnbull then denied Emnes but he was unable to stop Ayala heading in the resulting corner from Leadbitter.
Rovers: Turnbull; Quinn, Jones, Khumalo, Wabara (Yun HT); Duffy, Keegan, Furman (Cotterill 75), Coppinger; Robinson, Brown. Substitutes: Paynter, McCullough, Maxted, De Val, Peterson.