David Button blunder keeps Middlesbrough marching on
Table-toppers Middlesbrough stretched their winning run in the Sky Bet Championship to five games with a 1-0 victory at Brentford thanks to a goalkeeping horror show from David Button.
The Bees goalkeeper punched a second half Boro corner high into the air, slipped and could only look on as the ball rolled over the line.
It was harsh on the Londoners who stood toe-to-toe with the league leaders and for long spells looked the better side.
Alan Judge, a target for Sheffield Wednesday, curled a snapshot just wide as the hosts started on the front foot.
Denmark international Lasse Vibe should have put Dean Smith's side ahead two minutes later when he capitalised on a Daniel Ayala slip to race goalwards only to be thwarted by keeper Dimi Konstantopoulos.
David Nugent wasted a carbon copy chance midway through the half when he latched onto a slack Toumani Diagouraga backpass, but Bees keeper Button was equal to his low effort.
Boro always looked dangerous on the break and Cristian Stuani's smart volley after a neat pass from Nugent was well blocked by Button.
At the other end Judge forced a full-length save from Boro's keeper with a dipping 20-yard drive before Sam Saunders' free-kick almost on the half-time whistle was tipped over to safety.
After the break Brentford were by far the brighter of the sides and looked to impose themselves on the visitors, Maxime Colin bursting into the Boro box only to see his cross-cum-shot palmed away by Konstantopoulos.
If it was a good night for the Greek keeper, it was one his opposite number will want to forget when his 61st-minute howler gifted the points to Aitor Karanka's men.
His high punch into the swirling wind looped high above the bar and dropped over the line, Ayala applying the finishing touch to give the dubious goals panel something to think about.
Once they took the lead Boro defended for their lives against wave after wave of attacks from the home side, but always looked potent on the counter with Nugent and Albert Adomah a constant threat.
The result means it is now 817 minutes since Middlesbrough last conceded in the league, and apart from a few goalmouth scrambles as Brentford ditched their passing game to go long ball, their resolute defence never looked like being breached.
Substitutes Sergi Canos and Marco Djuricin both caused Boro problems, but every time the ball dropped in the visitors' box Brentford found themselves surrounded by defenders.