EFL Cup - Quarter-Final

Carabao Cup: Burton Albion win 1-0 at Middlesbrough to reach semi-finals

Jake Hesketh scoring for Burton Albion
Burton had never gone beyond the Carabao Cup third round before this year's competition

Burton Albion boss Nigel Clough said reaching the Carabao Cup semi-finals was "absolutely remarkable" after victory at Middlesbrough secured the League One side's place in the last four for the first time.

Jake Hesketh drilled low beyond Darren Randolph from the edge of the area at the start of the second half for the only goal of the game to ensure Burton's memorable run in the competition continues, having overcome higher-ranked opposition in four of their five League Cup ties this season.

The Brewers are also the first team from the third tier of English football to reach the semi-finals of the competition since Sheffield United, then managed by Clough, in 2014-15.

Bradford City, then of League Two, were the last team outside of the Premier League to reach the final, in 2012-13.

"Ninety-two clubs come into the competition and Burton Albion in the last four, it's absolutely remarkable," said Clough.

"We've beaten [Aston] Villa, [Nottingham] Forest, Burnley and now Middlesbrough to get to this stage.

"You always need a little bit of luck in any cup competition and we got a bit tonight but I thought we earned it. We played very, very well at times."

Middlesbrough, who were bidding to reach the last four for the first time since they won the trophy in 2004, had a great chance to equalise late on but Aden Flint headed Marcus Tavernier's cross wide from two yards.

Tony Pulis' side began the brighter, with Burton goalkeeper Bradley Collins doing well to deny Lewis Wing before pushing away Stewart Downing's 30-yard free-kick.

The visitors created little before Marcus Harness curled over the bar from eight yards seconds before the break, and that proved to be a sign of things to come as Burton took the lead three minutes into the second half.

Scott Fraser fed Jamie Allen in the area and when his shot hit the post, Hesketh was alert on the rebound to drag the ball away from Muhamed Besic before drilling low into the corner.

Middlesbrough pressed for an equaliser but struggled to break down a Burton defence superbly marshalled by centre-backs Jake Buxton and John Brayford, with Flint heading their best opportunity wide with six minutes remaining.

The final whistle sparked scenes of jubilation on the Burton bench, with manager Clough running onto the pitch to celebrate with his players.

The Brewers were only promoted to the Football League nine years ago, but are now only 180 minutes from a Wembley final.

When asked whether Burton could go all the way, Clough added: "Highly unlikely, when you look at the teams that are left in. That's just being realistic.

"We are going to enjoy this one for a couple of days before we go to Luton on Saturday for as hard a game as there will be this season, and then we are going to park it and look forward to it in the New Year."

Middlesbrough boss Pulis was "desperately disappointed" at the defeat, with the Teesside club now without a win in five games in all competitions.

"They started better than us in the first five minutes and then we got hold of the game, got a good grip of the game and we had four opportunities where we are through with just the goalkeeper in front of us," said Pulis.

"What summed it up was Flinty's miss in the second half. How he's missed that, goodness knows."

Giant-killers Burton at it again - the stats

  • Burton have beaten the Championship's Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough in round two, round four and the quarter-finals respectively, and Premier League side Burnley in round three.
  • Championship outfit Middlesbrough managed only one shot in the second half, with that shot going off target.
  • Burton's Jake Hesketh has scored three goals in his four appearances in the League Cup.



  • 23Randolph
  • 20Fry
  • 24Flint
  • 6Batth
  • 3Friend
  • 26Wing
  • 7Leadbitter
  • 37BesicBooked at 38minsSubstituted forTavernierat 63'minutes
  • 19Downing
  • 11HugillBooked at 16minsSubstituted forAssombalongaat 63'minutes
  • 10BraithwaiteSubstituted forFletcherat 72'minutes


  • 4Ayala
  • 9Assombalonga
  • 17McNair
  • 18Fletcher
  • 22Saville
  • 28Tavernier
  • 31Lonergan


  • 40CollinsBooked at 79mins
  • 2Brayford
  • 3Buxton
  • 6Turner
  • 16Myers-Harness
  • 4Allen
  • 23Quinn
  • 19Hutchinson
  • 8HeskethBooked at 74minsSubstituted forFoxat 81'minutes
  • 10Akins
  • 7Fraser


  • 9Sbarra
  • 12Fox
  • 14McCrory
  • 18Miller
  • 21Hodge
  • 22Wallace
  • 26Evtimov
Michael Oliver

Match Stats

Home TeamMiddlesbroughAway TeamBurton
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Middlesbrough 0, Burton Albion 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 0, Burton Albion 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Lewis Wing (Middlesbrough).

  4. Post update

    Ben Fox (Burton Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Ben Fox.

  6. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  7. Post update

    Delay in match John Brayford (Burton Albion) because of an injury.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Aden Flint (Middlesbrough) header from very close range is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Marcus Tavernier with a cross.

  9. Post update

    George Friend (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  10. Post update

    Foul by John Brayford (Burton Albion).

  11. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Burton Albion. Ben Fox replaces Jake Hesketh.

  13. Post update

    Delay in match Bradley Collins (Burton Albion) because of an injury.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Danny Batth (Middlesbrough).

  15. Post update

    Bradley Collins (Burton Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Jamie Allen.

  17. Booking

    Bradley Collins (Burton Albion) is shown the yellow card.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Jake Buxton.

  19. Booking

    Jake Hesketh (Burton Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  20. Post update

    George Friend (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

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