MIDDLESBROUGH claimed the first victory of their pre-season campaign as goals from Patrick Bamford and Britt Assombalonga secured a 2-0 win over National League North side Spennymoor Town.

Bamford opened the scoring from penalty spot, with Assombalonga adding a second midway through the second half as Tony Pulis’ side enjoyed a successful run-out at Brewery Field.

Spennymoor acquitted themselves well throughout, with Jason Ainsley selecting all six of the new signings that were announced last week, but Boro were able to win without really having to extend themselves at any stage.

Having watched his side suffer a 1-0 defeat in their opening pre-season game in Austria last week, Pulis once again named both of his summer signings in the starting line-up for Boro’s first summer outing on home soil.

Aden Flint partnered Dael Fry at the heart of the back four, which meant Ben Gibson shuffling across the left-back in the absence of George Friend, who was watching on from the stands.

It did not take long for Boro’s Football League credentials to become apparent, with the Teessiders claiming the lead in only the second minute.

Paddy McNair, a £5m summer signing from Sunderland, burst into the area, where he was upended by Spennymoor’s debutant goalkeeper, Matthew Gould. Bamford stepped up and calmly converted from the spot.

Spennymoor boss Jason Ainsley named six new signings in his starting side, including the goalkeeper and the whole of the back four, and the hosts acquitted themselves reasonably well for the rest of the first half.

There was the occasional defensive scare, most notably when Adama Traore found himself in space in the Moors half, but Ainsley will have been pleased with his side’s efforts.

Pulis will also have been reasonably happy, despite his Boro players being understandably short of full speed at such an early stage of the pre-season schedule.

Bamford was the liveliest player in the Boro ranks, constantly cutting in from the left to look for the ball, and he curled a free-kick just over the bar on the half-hour mark after Jake Hibbs chopped down Adam Clayton on the edge of the box.

Rudy Gestede nodded a Bamford cross over the bar shortly after, and Gould got down well to keep out a low drive from Traore after the winger broke purposefully from inside his own half.

Boro went close to claiming another goal in the final minute of the first half, but McNair’s drive flew narrowly over the crossbar after he swivelled neatly on the 18-yard line.

Pulis brought on Assombalonga, Marvin Johnson and Ashley Fletcher for the start of the second period, but it was Spennymoor who began the second period the brightest with Jake Hibbs turning neatly before firing wide from 25 yards.

Flint headed Traore’s corner wide shortly after, before Pulis made four more alterations, introducing Dimi Konstantopoulos, Grant Leadbitter, Julien de Sart and Lewis Wing.

A second goal should have arrived midway through the second half, but having been released through the middle by a fine ball from Fry, Fletcher slipped as he was attempting to get a shot away.

The visitors eventually doubled their lead in the 68th minute, with Fletcher releasing Assombalonga beyond the Moors defence. The striker’s initial shot was saved, but the ball broke kindly for him to roll home the rebound.

Spennymoor (4-1-4-1): Gould (Trialist 86); Brogan (Trialist 70), Thackray (Trialist 46), Atkinson, Williams (Hall 46); Chandler; Ramshaw, Hibbs, Henry (Foley 46), Johnson (Curtis 46); Taylor (Trialist 70).

Middlesbrough (4-3-3): Randolph (Konstantopoulos 55); Shotton, Flint, Fry, Gibson (Johnson 46); McNair, Clayton (Leadbitter 55), Howson (de Sart 55); Traore (Wing 55), Gestede (Assombalonga 46), Bamford (Fletcher 46).