JONATHAN WOODGATE was left “gutted” by the late Duane Holmes volley that prevented Middlesbrough from making it five wins in a row at the Riverside Stadium.

Homes struck in stoppage-time to ensure the Rams came back for a second time to secure a 2-2 draw that left Boro reeling, despite another encouraging afternoon.

Before Holmes’ strike, Middlesbrough had gone ahead twice. Lewis Wing’s excellent strike in the 16th minute was cancelled out by Jason Knight’s cross-cum-shot in the 54th minute.

Middlesbrough went ahead again with 24 minutes remaining when Paddy McNair struck from the spot, after Patrick Roberts had gone down in the area under a challenge from Matt Clarke.

Derby were angered that it should not have been a penalty, although they responded by snatching a dramatic equaliser in the dying seconds.

Nevertheless Middlesbrough’s recent run of form continued and Woodgate said: “The lads knew what they were going to do in the second half, put more pressure on us, being more direct, you could see the first half when we pressed and how we pressed was good.

Woodgate said: “The first half was absolutely outstanding and the only negative is that we should gave killed game off. They were more direct in the second-half and got into the game.

“The second equaliser is an unbelievable volley. It was Paul Scholes-esque. We are disappointed and it feels like a defeat but I am proud of that because that shows how far we have come. I am gutted to be honest. We deserved the win.

“Derby realised they couldn’t play against us and they went more direct. That was a decent performance, it deserved a win. We needed to be putting the chances away, they are disappointed in there but they have come far.

“It is getting there, it takes time. There will be rocky roads ahead. But it was nice to see the fans on the edge of their seats with pockets of play. They are starting to do what I want them to do.”

Roberts was particularly impressive on his second appearance since arriving from Manchester City on loan along with Lukas Nmecha – and Woodgate is certain there is more to come.

“Patrick hasn’t played at all for Norwich (loan) this season, he has come in with minimal minutes and you can see the quality he has,” said Woodgate.

“He was a constant threat, he will only get better. I am excited about him. He can be a really good player with us. He has only been in the building a week, not loads, but it isn’t just about him … the team ethic and team spirit is what I want.”

The Middlesbrough boss also admitted afterwards he still expects Darren Randolph to join West Ham where he has undergone a medical ahead of a move worth around £4m.

Derby boss Philip Cocu, meanwhile, thought the decision to award Middlesbrough a second half penalty stopped his side in its tracks at the Riverside Stadium today.

Cocu said: “It was no penalty, from my angle Matt played the ball. I didn’t see it on TV or the big screen but I thought it was a correct tackle and I don’t know how many penalties we have had against us but that must be ten now.

“If you get too many you get a bad feeling, I don’t like it. We have been quite unlucky on a few occasions now and it is such a key moment in the game because we had scored and we were close to getting a second.”