Late Deflected Winner from Matty Cash Seals Aston Villa’s Victory over Middlesbrough

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Aston Villa won an FA Cup tie for the first time since 2016 after Matty Cash hit a late winner at Middlesbrough.

Championship club Boro were close to earning a replay when Cash’s attempt from outside the box took a heavy deflection and beat Tom Glover.

Australian keeper Glover had earlier frustrated the Premier League visitors at a vibrant Riverside Stadium with a string of saves to keep out young Colombia forward Jhon Duran (twice) and captain John McGinn.

Villa’s frustrations grew when Ezri Konsa’s glancing header bounced back off a post before Poland full-back Cash struck his fourth goal of the season in three different competitions.

It earned Villa, seven-time FA Cup winners who last lifted the trophy in 1957, a first victory in the competition since defeating League Two Wycombe in a third-round replay in 2016.

They had suffered eight straight defeats and been on the wrong end of upsets against League One Peterborough in 2018 and League Two Stevenage in 2023.

“We were speaking before the match about the FA Cup, a very historic cup competition, maybe the best cup competition in the world,” said Villa boss Unai Emery.

“We’re speaking about our players, how much they were successful in this competition – not a lot! Only Emiliano [Martinez] and Calum Chambers won with Arsenal.

“A long time Aston Villa was successful in this competition with seven titles. Of course we are here trying to do another step ahead in this club.”

Middlesbrough have already enjoyed one impressive cup run this season after reaching the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup, where they face Chelsea over two legs on Tuesday and 23 January.

But they managed just one attempt on target when Martinez kept out Morgan Rogers before half-time.

Villa, second in the Premier League, felt they should have won a penalty when Isaiah Jones clipped Alex Moreno in the second half.

But with no video assistant referee (VAR) in operation at grounds outside the Premier League, play was allowed to carry on.

With a replay at Villa Park looming, Cash found the net following an assist by substitute Douglas Luiz.

Aston Villa have won the FA Cup seven times but not since 1957

Relief as Villa get the job done

There was understandable relief from Emery and his players when referee Robert Jones blew the final whistle, sparking celebrations from Villa’s travelling fans.

They have waited a long time to see their side win a match in the competition and can now look forward to Monday’s fourth-round draw.

Although Ollie Watkins started on the substitutes bench, the Villa boss fielded a strong side.

The tie was still in the balance by the time the England forward was introduced with 20 minutes to go.

Nicolo Zaniolo, another substitute, went close with a curling attempt from distance before Cash added to goals he had scored this season in the Premier League (2) and Europa Conference League.

Player of the match

GloverTom Glover


  1. Squad number23Player nameGlover

  2. Squad number16Player nameHowson

  3. Squad number3Player namevan den Berg

  4. Squad number24Player nameBangura

  5. Squad number4Player nameBarlaser

  6. Squad number5Player nameClarke

  7. Squad number9Player nameLatte Lath

  8. Squad number7Player nameHackney

  9. Squad number10Player nameRogers

  10. Squad number19Player nameCoburn

  11. Squad number11Player nameJones

  12. Squad number27Player nameEngel

  13. Squad number29Player nameGreenwood

  14. Squad number22Player nameCoulson

  15. Squad number14Player nameGilbert

  16. Squad number6Player nameFry

Aston Villa

  1. Squad number7Player nameMcGinn

  2. Squad number2Player nameCash

  3. Squad number6Player nameDouglas Luiz

  4. Squad number11Player nameWatkins

  5. Squad number41Player nameJ Ramsey

  6. Squad number44Player nameKamara

  7. Squad number15Player nameÁlex Moreno

  8. Squad number4Player nameKonsa

  9. Squad number22Player nameZaniolo

  10. Squad number1Player nameE Martínez

  11. Squad number31Player nameBailey

  12. Squad number32Player nameDendoncker

  13. Squad number17Player nameLenglet

  14. Squad number19Player nameDiaby

  15. Squad number24Player nameDurán



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 23Glover
  • 3van den Berg
  • 5Clarke
  • 27Engel
  • 24BanguraSubstituted forCoulsonat 83′minutes
  • 4BarlaserSubstituted forGilbertat 83′minutes
  • 7HackneySubstituted forHowsonat 59′minutes
  • 11JonesBooked at 23minsSubstituted forFryat 83′minutes
  • 10Rogers
  • 29Greenwood
  • 19CoburnSubstituted forLatte Lathat 59′minutes


  • 6Fry
  • 9Latte Lath
  • 14Gilbert
  • 16Howson
  • 22Coulson
  • 25Crooks
  • 32Jones
  • 49McCabe
  • 52Bridge

Aston Villa

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1E Martínez
  • 2CashBooked at 74mins
  • 17LengletBooked at 82mins
  • 4KonsaBooked at 37mins
  • 15Moreno
  • 44Kamara
  • 32DendonckerSubstituted forDouglas Luizat 70′minutes
  • 31BaileyBooked at 40minsSubstituted forZanioloat 69′minutesBooked at 80mins
  • 7McGinnSubstituted forDiabyat 70′minutes
  • 41J Ramsey
  • 24DuránSubstituted forWatkinsat 70′minutes


  • 3Diego Carlos
  • 6Douglas Luiz
  • 11Watkins
  • 19Diaby
  • 22Zaniolo
  • 42Marschall
  • 47Iroegbunam
  • 78Proctor

Robert Jones


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