Port Vale 0-3 Middlesbrough: Carrick's side reach Carabao Cup semis

Port Vale 0-3 Middlesbrough: Michael Carrick’s side reach Carabao Cup semi-final for the first time since 2004 as goals from Jonny Howson, Morgan Rogers and Matt Crooks end the League One side’s dream cup run

  • Middlesbrough have reached Carabao Cup semi-finals after beating Port Vale 
  • Jonny Howson, Morgan Rogers and Matt Crooks all scored to set up last four tie
  • West Ham can WIN the League Cup… don’t get hung up on rotation. Sod it! Go all out at Anfield – It’s All Kicking Off 

Almost two decades on from their finest hour, Middlesbrough took another big stride forward in the EFL Cup by ruining Port Vale’s big night.

Back in 2004, Boro beat Bolton 2-1 in Cardiff to lift the one major trophy in their history and now the same competition is offering them joy once again.

Michael Carrick’s side may lack consistency in the Championship but they can’t stop winning in the cup as goals by Jonny Howson, Morgan Rogers and Matt Crooks set up a semi-final against Premier League opposition.

League One Vale, appearing in a League Cup quarter-final for the first time, were simply unable to compete.

Boro’s superior quality of passing tied them in knots and they lacked the same clinical touch despite a couple of good openings. 

Michael Carrick guided his Middlesbrough side into the Carabao Cup semi-finals with a 3-0 win over League One side Port Vale

Jonny Howson opened the scoring for Boro on route to a routine win to reach the last four

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Two first-half goals killed the atmosphere and the contest – and there was no route back. 

A packed Vale Park treated us to not one, but two hearty renditions of their club anthem, Elvis Presley’s The Wonder of You, ahead of kick-off.

Naturally, some hits by Vale superfan Robbie Williams also made the pre-match playlist and home confidence was high.

It was certainly ‘Let me Entertain You’ in the opening stages as Vale went on the offensive against a Boro side missing a number of key players through injury.

Morgan Rogers salutes the travelling fans after notching Boro’s second to give them a cushion

Matt Crooks celebrates making it 3-0 to put the icing on the cake of a memorable night 


PORT VALE (3-4-2-1): Ripley 5; Debrah 5, Lowe 5 (Sang 78), Balmer 5 (Iacovitti 52, 6); Massey 5 (Ikpeazu 78), Ojo (c) 6 (Loft 46, 6), Arblaster 6 (Walters 59), Grant 6; Devine 6.5, Chislett 6.5; Garrity 5

Substitutes not used: Leutwiler (GK); Smith, Dipepa, Lomax

Manager: Andy Crosby 6

Booked: Balmer, Loft, Iacovitti

MIDDLESBROUGH (4-2-3-1): Glover 5; Dijksteel 6, Fry 6, Clarke 6, Engel 6; Howson (c) 7, Barlaser 7; ROGERS 7.5 McCabe 83), Crooks 7 (Bangura 77), Silvera 6.5; Latte Lath 5 (I. Jones 46, 6 (Kavanagh 73, 6))

Substitutes not used: J. Jones (GK); Gilbert, Coulson, Nkrumah, Bilongo.

Manager: Michael Carrick 7

Scorers: Howson 12; Rogers 23; Crooks 53

Booked: Clarke, Rogers

Referee: Michael Salisbury 6

Attendance: 12,006 (2,715 away)

Ethan Chislett, fresh from a weekend hat-trick against Wigan, curled an early free-kick fractionally over the bar after Boro defender Matt Clarke picked up a booking.

But Vale’s early squall quickly blew itself out as Boro took a 12th-minute lead. Howson, still going strong aged 35, made a clever dart in midfield and took a pass from Daniel Barlaser.

Suddenly he had acres of space and decided to chance his arm, the 25-yard effort looping off the lower back of Vale’s Jason Lowe and flying over keeper Connor Ripley.

It was a bit harsh on Ripley, the son of former England winger Stuart, who supports Boro and began his career there. Not that it stopped the Boro fans chanting: ‘Ripley, what’s the score?’

And 4,000 travelling Teessiders were jumping around again not long afterwards when Rogers doubled their lead and further settled nerves.

The former Manchester City man, 21, picked out the bottom corner expertly after Sammy Silvera won the ball back on the right side.

Boro fans have taken Wham’s Last Christmas and replaced the line ‘give it to someone special’ with ‘give it to Morgan Rogers’ – a chant as nicely timed as Rogers’ arrival into the Vale box.

Vale had the chance to silence the Boro bonhomie a few minutes later but somehow Gavin Massey put the ball over an empty net from just a few yards after Chislett crossed.

Despite that lapse, the Championship side had firm control and they made life even more comfortable eight minutes after the break. 


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Crooks just had too much strength for his marker and rifled home his shot beyond the flat-footed Ripley. Boro cruised home from there.

Sub Calum Kavanagh could have added a fourth when unmarked in the centre but couldn’t get enough power to beat Ripley.

Rogers limping off injured in the closing minutes soured things for Carrick as Boro prepare for fellow promotion hopefuls West Brom on Saturday.

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