The FA Cup - Fourth Round
MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough1AccringtonAccrington Stanley0

Middlesbrough 1-0 Accrington Stanley

Stewart Downing's superb strike sent Middlesbrough through to the FA Cup fifth round with victory over League Two strugglers Accrington Stanley.

The hosts wasted numerous chances at the Riverside before Downing fired a left-footed shot into the top corner from 25 yards in the 69th minute.

Substitute Cristhian Stuani missed an open goal in added time.

Sean McConville went closest for Stanley, who are 20th in League Two, but they could not force an equaliser.

A nervy Boro had failed to capitalise on their dominance until Downing's goal, with Patrick Bamford missing two clear chances from close range on his first start for the club since joining from Chelsea.

Stanley's Sean Clare forced Dimitrios Konstantopoulos into a solid save in the first half, before McConville headed wide when unmarked on 83 minutes.

The visitors rarely threatened otherwise, with Marek Rodak keeping them in contention, making fine saves to deny Rudy Gestede and Adama Traore, the latter's effort falling to Stuani, who shot high over the bar with Rodak off his line.

Defeat means Stanley are yet to progress beyond the fourth round of the FA Cup, while Aitor Karanka's Boro secured their second win in five games in 2017, both in this competition.

Manager reaction

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka said: "The most important thing with these games is to just get through to the next round - we had chances to score more but sometimes it's difficult against these sides.

"Accrington Stanley were really organised and kept fighting to the end so I'm really pleased.

"Stewart Downing deserved to score, it was an amazing goal. I told him at half-time that he was one of the best players on the pitch but to score a goal is always best."

Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman said: "A lot of other club have played their kids - we can't ask Middlesbrough to play a weakened side so it's a testament to how well we've played that it was only 1-0.

"The financial aspect is great so a replay would've been fantastic.

"But now we've got to show the same heart and spirit in every league game from now until the end of the season."

What's next?

Middlesbrough face West Brom in the Premier League at the Riverside on Tuesday. Accrington Stanley host fellow strugglers Notts County at the Crown Ground on Saturday, 4 February.

Line-ups

Middlesbrough

  • 1Konstantopoulos
  • 3FriendSubstituted forFryat 9'minutes
  • 5Bernardo
  • 6GibsonBooked at 90mins
  • 2da Silva
  • 11FischerSubstituted forTraoréat 61'minutes
  • 8ClaytonBooked at 81mins
  • 7LeadbitterBooked at 64mins
  • 19DowningBooked at 88mins
  • 20BamfordSubstituted forStuaniat 70'minutes
  • 29Gestede

Substitutes

  • 10Negredo
  • 14de Roon
  • 18Stuani
  • 22Fry
  • 26Valdés
  • 34Forshaw
  • 37Traoré

Accrington

  • 12Rodak
  • 32RodgersBooked at 90mins
  • 3Hughes
  • 5BecklesSubstituted forGornellat 90'minutes
  • 30Donacien
  • 4DaviesSubstituted forClarkat 74'minutes
  • 15ClareBooked at 85mins
  • 28ConneelyBooked at 14mins
  • 14BocoSubstituted forMcCartanat 74'minutes
  • 29Kee
  • 11McConville

Substitutes

  • 7Clark
  • 9Gornell
  • 10McCartan
  • 18Hewitt
  • 19Shaw
  • 20Chapman
  • 24Edwards
Referee:
Anthony Taylor
Attendance:
24,040

Match Stats

Home TeamMiddlesbroughAway TeamAccrington
Possession
Home58%
Away42%
Shots
Home20
Away7
Shots on Target
Home6
Away3
Corners
Home8
Away2
Fouls
Home9
Away7

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Middlesbrough 1, Accrington Stanley 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 1, Accrington Stanley 0.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Jordan Clark.

  4. Booking

    Harvey Rodgers (Accrington Stanley) is shown the yellow card.

  5. Post update

    Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Harvey Rodgers (Accrington Stanley).

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jordan Clark (Accrington Stanley) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  8. Booking

    Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  9. Post update

    Shay McCartan (Accrington Stanley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough).

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Cristhian Stuani (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Adama Traoré (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Accrington Stanley. Terry Gornell replaces Omar Beckles.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Marek Rodak.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Cristhian Stuani (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  16. Booking

    Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Adama Traoré (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Billy Kee (Accrington Stanley) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  19. Booking

    Sean Clare (Accrington Stanley) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  20. Post update

    Cristhian Stuani (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

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