Second half strikes from Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson and Jayden Harris ensured Fulham’s under 23 side extended their unbeaten league run to nine matches.
Peter Grant’s side came into the fixture full of confidence and almost enjoyed the perfect start in the north east when Sean Kavanagh struck a free-kick narrowly over the bar just 90 seconds in. The in-form Thorsteinsson was next to have a go at goal from the left angle of the box – a sign of how his rich vein of goalscoring form has boosted his own confidence – but his ambitious effort cleared the crossbar.
The Whites were then thankful for centre half Arron Davies, who produced one of a number of vital tackles to deny Luke Armstrong a shooting opportunity in the six-yard box and the highly-rated Dael Fry also drove a snapshot powerfully over the bar. At the other end, Harris almost ended an excellent individual goal by opening the score after half an hour but his shot deflected wide.
Isaac Pearce than hooked an effort past the far post and, after Rob Atkinson’s shot was smuggled clear from a corner, Middlesbrough broke forward and a swerving shot from Liam Hegarty might have troubled Luca Ashby-Hammond but Fulham’s teenage goalkeeper responded with a top drawer save.
That warning was all the Whites needed to up their game in the second half. The dangerous Thorsteinsson opened the scoring just two minutes after the break – cutting in from the right and firing into the top corner. Eight minutes later, Peter Grant’s men doubled their lead in freakish circumstances. A hopeful cross from Harris looping over a surprised goalkeeper on its way in off the back post.
The visitors had further chances to extend the lead in the final half an hour with Robertson having a shot blocked, whilst they soaked the sporadic Boro pressure at the end,
MIDDLESBROUGH (4-2-3-1): James; Hegarty (Mahmvtovic 86), Brewitt, Fry, Reading; Malley, Tinkler; Brahimi (Walker 63), Wearne (Pattison 45), Coulson; Armstrong. Subs (not used): Spence, Hemming.
FULHAM (4-2-3-1): Ashby-Hammond; Spence, Kavanagh (Fossey 58), Davies, Atkinson; Harris, Francois; Pearce (Nabay 85′), Kait, Thorsteinsson; Williams (Elstone 9). Subs (not used): Andrason.
GOALS: Thorsteinsson (47), Harris (55).