Boro ease into fifth round
Middlesbrough avoid Mansfield shock
By Graeme Bailey. Last Updated: January 26, 2008 7:55pm
Lee celebrates opener
Middlesbrough sealed their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win over League Two Mansfield Town at Field Mill.
The Stags started brightly but Boro took the lead after 17 minutes as South Korean Lee Dong-gook fired home from six yards.
Town continued to huff and puff and Michael Boulding went agonisingly close as his shot was tipped onto the crossbar by Mark Schwarzer.
But Boro held out and eventually sealed their win with just minutes to go as Jake Buxton headed into his own net under pressure from Stewart Downing.
Middlesbrough dominated in the early stages as Julio Arca exuded class in midfield and the pace of Jeremie Aliadiere and Adam Johnson caused real problems for Mansfield.
They took the lead in the 17th minute when goalkeeper Carl Muggleton and defender Lee Bell got themselves into a tangle as they attempted to deal with Johnson's inswinging corner.
David Wheater, who had scored in three of his previous five matches, passed up the chance of a fourth with a mis-hit shot but the ball broke to Lee, who gratefully accepted the chance to double his tally after a frustrating year on Teesside.
Boulding posed the Stags' main threat and Schwarzer tipped his 35th-minute piledriver on to the crossbar and then clawed away his header from the resulting corner.
The Teessiders returned after the break knowing a second goal would effectively kill off their hosts, and they threatened twice within the opening three minutes.
But Wheater was unable to make the most of a Luke Young cross and Martin did well to block a shot from Lee.
Mansfield came close and almost equalised in the 52nd minute when Matt Hamshaw forced his way into the box to cross to the near post, but Boulding could only fire wide.
The home side were making a real push and were mightily aggrieved at referee Steve Tanner's decision not to award a penalty for a challenge on Stephen Dawson two minutes later.
Having seen Boulding fire over under pressure from Huth after 65 minutes, Southgate attempted to inject fresh impetus into his side by replacing the tiring Johnson with England winger Downing.
Mido joined the fray as a 71st-minute replacement for Lee but it was Arca who sliced Mansfield open seconds later after he robbed Bell and charged towards goal, only to leave Aliadiere with too much to do with a wayward pass.
As they searched for an equaliser the Stags found themselves exposed at the back, and last man Simon Brown escaped with a yellow card for an 84th-minute rugby tackle on Aliadiere.
Boro's nerves were finally dissipated three minutes from time when Buxton headed a George Boateng cross into his own net to end his side's hopes of a late fightback.
|Team Name||Mansfield Town||align="center">Middlesbrough|
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