Middlesbrough 4 Hastings United 1: Hastings’ efforts are lauded by Mowbray

Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray paid tribute to non-league Hastings after his Championship side survived a few scares before easing to victory at the Riverside Stadium.

Two goals from Merouane Zemmama and one each for Andy Halliday and Ishmael Miller saw Boro into round four, but Hastings teenager Bradley Goldberg struck a superb consolation goal and midfielder Lee Carey hit a post.

The Ryman Premier Division strugglers, ranked 131 places below their opponents in the league structure, trailed only to Zemmama’s opener at the interval after goalkeeper Liam O’Brien saved an early penalty from Miller.

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Mowbray said: “It was a credit to them that they tried to play football right from the off. I was pleased for them that they scored a great goal in front of their supporters. It was nice to be able to congratulate them afterwards.

“It was a bit patchy from us but FA Cups are about going through to the next round. It’s important to keep the confidence and belief going no matter the name of the team you’re playing.

“We got the job done, but we could have made it easier.”

Sean Ray’s underdogs weathered an early storm before goalkeeper O’Brien, brought in from Barnet on Friday after an injury to regular No 1 and part-time naked butler Matt Armstrong-Ford, guessed correctly to save a 17th-minute penalty from Miller.

The visitors’ day was capped by Goldberg’s 25-yard strike which brought applause from all four sides of the ground and Hastings player-manager Ray said: “Seeing how happy our supporters were at the end is a memory I will savour for the rest of my life.

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“I’m so pleased we were able to get a goal. Bradley has got that in his locker. I thought we were a bit overawed in the first half but we started to relax more and caused them one or two problems.”

Middlesbrough: Steele, Halliday, Rhys Williams, Bailey, Parnaby (Haroun 73), Zemmama (Morris 82), Smallwood, Thomson, Reach, Miller, Luke Williams (Jones 61). Unused substitutes: Leutwiler, Jutkiewicz, McDonald, Burgess.

Hastings United: O’Brien, Whitehead, Vickers (Ellis 51), Ray, Cox (Manning 72), Carey, Jirbandey, Crellin, Dixon (Okojie 76), Camara, Goldburg. Unused substitutes: 
G Howard, Daly, Richardson, Abbot.

Referee: G Salisbury (Lancashire).

Man of the match: Bradley Goldberg.