Middlesbrough 0 Hull City 2: Mclean shines for Tigers in FA Cup

Hull City at Middlesbrough
Hull City at Middlesbrough
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HULL CITY secured a long overdue maiden win at the Riverside Stadium - and first on Teesside since March 1986 - as they cruised into the fourth round of the FA Cup at the expense of abject Boro.

Having failed to register a win in their last eight outings at Boro, which had seen them suffer seven defeats along the way, the Tigers claimed a bit of payback for their travelling supporters - thanks to goals in each half from the recalled duo of Aaron Mclean and Nick Proschwitz.

Mclean, who recently returned to the KC Stadium following a loan spell at Birmingham City, put the Tigers ahead when he bundled the ball home just ten minutes in - for his first goal in City colours for 11 months.

Boro were not at the races in a poor first-half and weren’t much better at the start of the second, with Proschwitz duly punishing them by lashing home just his second goal of the campaign following a polished move down the right on 61 minutes.

It helped confirm just Hull’s second win on Teesside since 1955 and turn the tables after the north-easterners saw off the Tigers in their round-three replay meeting back at the Riverside in 2006-07 - with that 4-3 victory a whole load more entertaining than the latest spectacle.

Not that the 1,427 Hull fans will care a jot after their side’s first away win in seven matches - the previous one had arrived up the road from Boro at Newcastle on September 21.

It leaves Boro to concentrate on the Championship after mustering just two shots on target, a tame one on 39 minutes from Emmanuel Ledesma and an effort deep in stoppage-time from Curtis Main.

Both sides rang the changes with abandon, with Hull making nine changes from the side who lost at Anfield at New Year’s Day, with David Meyler and Maynor Figueroa being the sole survivors.

Boro, meanwhile, made six changes to the side who were pegged back in a 2-2 draw at Bolton Wanderers, with Luke Williams, Marvin Emnes and Marvin Emnes among those given chances to shine.

The game got underway amid sheeting, persistent rain, with the Tigers forced into a late change, with Proschwitz stepping in for Matty Fryatt, who was originally down to start, only to succumb to an injury, presumably in the warm-up, although he was named on the bench.

The disruption didn’t hamper the Tigers at a venue which has proved extremely unlucky over the years, with Bruce’s side taking the lead after just ten minutes.

Neat build-up involving George Boyd and Meyler ended in the latter taking aim for distance, with his effort diverting invitingly into the path of Mclean, who latched onto the ball ahead of the onrushing Dimi Konstantopoulous to tuck the ball home.

The Greek keeper, making his debut after joining from AEK Athens last year, received attention in the process, although the concession of an early goal will have arguably hurt him more.

Boro, operating with Curtis Main as a lone frontman, supported by Emnes in a 4-4-1-1 formation, lacked composure and quality early on, with several home fans in the crowd voicing their displeasure from an early juncture when the hosts coughed up possession, which was frequently.

That theme continued for the rest of the half, with Steve Harper a total bystander with Boro amounting next to no pressure on his goal as move after move broke down, invariably close to the 18-yard box.

Hull were comfortable, despite not exactly carving out the chances to kill the tie, although it took a great saving challenge from Ben Gibson to deny Mclean, who profited from a loose pass from Emnes.

Seven minutes before the interval, Boro survived another scare when Rhys Williams’ appear to push Gedo in the box after the Tigers got in on the left, but referee Kevin Friend was unmoved regarding calls for a penalty.

After a massively forgettable first-half showing from his side, Boro chief Aitor Karanka showed what he thought of it all by making two interval changes to breathe life into his side, with top-scorer Albert Adomah and striker Lukas Jutkiewicz coming on for Ledesma and Luke Williams.

Their dual addition at least gave Boro, on paper, more of a semblance of threat, not that bonafide chances arrived on the restart.

George Friend lashed an effort wide, while at the other end, Gedo’s shot was easily held by Konstantopoulos before Boro’s best moment arrived on 58 minutes.

Emnes got away briefly on the left and his inviting low cross into the box just needed a touch but it eluded Adomah, lurking in the vicinity and after Figueroa dallied in clearing his lines, the ball fell to Dean Whitehead, who blazed into the North Stand.

Three minutes later, the tie was effectively over with a quality goal not in keeping with a low-key Yorkshire derby.

Hull got away down the right, with Paul McShane supplying Gedo, who got to the byline before cutting the ball back into the path of Proschwitz, who lashed a shot high past Konstantopoulos for the most emphatic and clinical of finishes.

Proschwitz’s previous goal this term had arrived in the Capital One Cup victory over Huddersfield in late September.

The visitors played out the rest of the game in comfort, with Boro left to reflect on a lacklustre first outing of the New Year at the Riverside, with their best chance of consolation arriving in the third minute of stoppage-time when Main fired into the side-netting before seeing an effort tipped over by the under-worked Harper.

Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos; Varga, R Williams, Gibson, Friend; Ledesma (Adomah 46), Whitehead, Leadbitter, Williams L (Jutkiewicz 46); Emnes (Butterfield 83); Main. Unused subs: Ripley, Richardson, Hines, Smallwood.

Hull City: Harper, Rosenior, Faye, McShane (Chester 76), Figueroa; Boyd, Meyler, Quinn (Jahraldo-Martin 83), Gedo; Proschwitz, Mclean (Elmohamady 80). Substitutes not used: Jakupovic, Sagbo, Fletcher, Fryatt.

Referee: K Friend (Leicestershire).

Attendance: 15,571 (1,427 Hull City supporters).