Bord Foren


Latte Lath caps Middlesbrough rally to end Exeter’s Carabao Cup run in last 16

At least when Michael Carrick and Middlesbrough return to Devon later this week they will carry ultimately happy memories from this visit. An 82nd-minute penalty by Emmanuel Latte Lath propelled Boro into the Carabao Cup quarter-finals and proved the difference against a spirited Exeter City after four fantastic goals, two by the hosts’ on-loan Brentford midfielder Ryan Trevitt, punctuated a thrilling tie.

This was anything but a comfortable evening for Boro, however. Their analysts – as well as the first-team coach, Grant Leadbitter, in conversation with Carrick’s staff on the touchline throughout – were stationed in the main stand surrounded by some of the 1,031 away fans who made this mammoth 14-hour, 686-mile round trip.

Boro subsidised their supporters’ tickets here, contributing £10 towards every adult ticket. “It is so, so special to see the commitment; the time, the effort, the cost,” Carrick said. “The support we have had since we’ve been here is amazing. I’m delighted to give the supporters a little payback for all the effort they give us.”

Boro, who will arrive back on Teesside in the early hours of Wednesday, will fly back to Exeter airport on Friday afternoon in preparation for their Championship match at Plymouth, Exeter’s arch-rivals, the following day. Some Boro fans are sticking around for that one, others will go home before trekking back to these parts. After trips to Bolton, Bradford, Huddersfield and now Exeter in the competition this season, Boro and their fans await their next possible destination. “It is two epic journeys,” Carrick said. “I don’t think the boys necessarily needed extra motivation but it certainly keeps that drive topped up when you see the numbers, the support and what it means to people. It keeps you realising that it means a lot to a lot of people. We never take that for granted.”

Ryan Trevitt celebrates scoring one of his goals for ExeterRyan Trevitt celebrates scoring one of his goals for Exeter. Photograph: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK/Shutterstock


As Middlesbrough’s players and staff filed off the team coach about an hour and 15 minutes before kick-off some of the more eager Exeter supporters that had congregated on the Big Bank terrace at one end of this ground were already making a racket. A thudding drum provided the soundtrack for Boro’s players as they headed for the away dressing room and the home support invariably turned up the volume when Trevitt, a tidy 20-year-old midfielder, opened the scoring in style inside 13 minutes. Kyle Taylor dug out a cross from the right flank and his pass bounced once before Trevitt took aim from just inside the Boro 18-yard box, sending a first-time, right-footed shot in off the underside of the bar.

Quick Guide

Port Vale seal historic place in last eight

Show1672 2

Alfie Devine’s strike early in the second half earned Port Vale a 1-0 Carabao Cup fourth-round win at Mansfield – and the club’s first-ever place in the League Cup quarter-finals.

The last-16 draw threw up this unexpected League Two v League One contest, with recent form favouring the hosts. Mansfield were on a 20-match unbeaten run, while Vale have taken just two points from their last eight games in the third tier.

It was the visitors who dominated the first half, with Mansfield fortunate to reach the break level. Just five minutes after the restart, Devine made the breakthrough. The on-loan Spurs striker carried the ball forward and fired a low shot into the corner from outside the area.

Photograph: Ryan Browne/ShutterstockWas this helpful?Thank you for your feedback.

Exeter did not exactly need any encouragement to get up for this one but Gary Caldwell, their manager, gave them a helping hand. Caldwell spent Friday evening painting a giant banner that ran along the bottom of the Big Bank as the teams emerged, spelling out one of his favourite sayings: “The most important history is the history we make today.” In the corridors off the boardroom there are pictures celebrating yesteryear, including Cristiano Ronaldo’s visit with Manchester United in an FA Cup third-round replay here in 2005. This season Exeter overcame a top-flight team in Luton to reach this stage of the competition but had not tasted victory since, taking one point from their past seven League One matches.

READ:   Hwang the hero as Wolves twice come from behind to frustrate Newcastle

Boro were limited to half-chances in the first half but four minutes into the second Morgan Rogers exhibited some of the class Caldwell was talking about when he argued Boro’s squad is superior to Premier League Luton’s. Rogers, who signed from Manchester City in the summer, darted inside off the left flank and sent an unerring, right-footed strike into the far corner.

skip past newsletter promotion

Sign up to Football Daily

Free daily newsletter

Kick off your evenings with the Guardian’s take on the world of football

Privacy Notice: Newsletters may contain info about charities, online ads, and content funded by outside parties. For more information see our Privacy Policy. We use Google reCaptcha to protect our website and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

after newsletter promotion

Middlesbrough’s second was almost a carbon copy of their first. This time it was Samuel Silvera who bounced in off the left and his curled, right-footed shot skidded low into the far corner.

Silvera went close to adding his second and Boro’s third, the Australian rattling a stanchion from distance. But Exeter replied through another fine Trevitt strike midway through the second half, as he picked out the top corner from the edge of the D. Did it go to Trevitt’s head? With a penalty shootout looming, his crazy decision to tug at Rogers’s shirt in the box amid little danger allowed Latte Lath, another summer signing, to strike from the penalty spot and settle a topsy-turvy tie. “It was a bit of a classic really, wasn’t it?” said a relieved Carrick.