JOSH COBURN pushed his claims for a return to Middlesbrough’s first-team fold as he scored a double in today’s Under-23s win over Sunderland - only to hobble off injured in the closing stages of the game.

Boro’s second string claimed a 3-1 victory over their North-East rivals at the Academy of Light, with Harry Green also finding the target.

The Teessiders named a strong starting line-up, with summer signing Luke Daniels starting in goal, Sol Bamba playing for around an hour at left-back, Connor Malley captaining the side in midfield and Toyosi Olusanya playing as part of the forward line.

Sunderland’s line-up was less experienced, although Anthony Patterson played in goal and Benji Kimpioka lined up in attack.

Boro started brightly, and were ahead in just the third minute. Coburn released Green into the area, and the midfielder slotted a low finish past Patterson and into the corner.

Daniels made a smart save from Harrison Sohna to keep Boro in front, before Kimpioka prodded wide at the far post when he should really have levelled.

Boro doubled their lead shortly before the interval, with William Kokolo squaring for Coburn to hammer home.

Coburn was one of the breakthrough stars of last season, coming off the bench in Boro’s final four league matches and claiming his first senior goal in a 3-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday.

The 18-year-old has had to patient so far this season, with his only league involvement coming when he left the bench for the final ten minutes of last month’s goalless draw with Derby.

He claimed his second goal of today’s game when he poked home from close range after Patterson spilled a loose ball at his feet, but failed to finish the game after suffering what appeared to be a hamstring injury.

Sunderland got themselves onto the scoresheet in the closing stages as Tyrese Dyce volleyed home.