Matty Cash’s late strike ensured Aston Villa saw off Middlesbrough 1-0 and booked their place in the FA Cup fourth round for the first time since 2016.
Cash’s deflected strike from 20 yards settled the third-round tie at the Riverside and sealed a deserved victory for Unai Emery’s Villans following seven consecutive exits at this stage of the competition.
Ezri Konsa had earlier seen his header come back off a post as Villa, enjoying their first fixture of 2024, made it one defeat in 13 matches in all competitions.
The full-back’s shot from the edge of the box took a wicked deflection as it spun past Tom Glover with three minutes left. The visitors had dominated territory and possession in the first half, with Glover pulling off saves from Jhon Duran and Jacob Ramsey.
Boro’s goalkeeper continued to thwart Villa in the second half, denying John McGinn with a superb one-handed stop. Ezri Konsa’s glancing header struck a post and Alex Moreno blasted over from close range before the away side broke through to progress to round four for the first time since 2016.
Emery named a strong side on Villa’s first visit to Teesside since December 2018, making four changes from the 3-2 win against Burnley last time out.
Duran was one of the players to come into the starting XI and after a controlled start from the visitors, the striker forced Glover into a one-handed stop at his near post.