Aston Villa beat Middlesbrough for 1st FA Cup win in 8 years

Matty Cash scored a last-gasp goal to send Aston Villa into the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time in eight years with a 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough on Saturday.

The sides appeared destined for a replay before Cash broke the deadlock in the 87th minute with his fourth goal of the season, a hard shot from just outside the 18-yard box that deflected in off Middlesbrough's Emmanuel Latte Lath.

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"A goal is a goal, so I am buzzing with it," the defender told the BBC. "I have worked on it in training outside the box to finish, we have worked on having three around the edge and my instinct was to shoot."

Villa, who have won the FA Cup seven times but not since 1957, had not reached the fourth round since 2016.

Matty Cash struck late to give Aston Villa a long-awaited FA Cup win.
Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

"The manager had made it clear in the hotel that we had not done well in this competition," Cash said. "It is nice to finally do that [advance past the third round] tonight.

"The manager is so good at that and whatever competition we are in we go out and do our best to get the result," he added.

"In Europe we are doing well and the league and tonight as well."

Villa manager Unai Emery's team played eight games in a hectic December schedule and are in the thick of the Premier League title race in second place, three points behind leaders Liverpool.

The visitors had numerous chances at Riverside Stadium, including a near-miss early in the second half when Jhon Duran rose to meet a corner kick but glanced his header off the far post, while Nicolo Zaniolo sent a long-range shot sailing just wide of the net shortly before Cash made the breakthrough.

Emery pushed for the winner in the final 20 minutes by sending on Zaniolo, Douglas Luiz, Ollie Watkins and Moussa Diaby, who have scored 28 goals between them this season.

Championship side Middlesbrough were FA Cup runners-up in the 1996-97 season. 

"Hugely proud," Middlesbrough manager Michael Carrick said. "The disappointment the lads are feeling shows how well we performed in the game. It was not easy against such a good team."