Football: Middlesbrough coast through

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The Independent Online
Middlesbrough, last year's beaten finalists, had a comfortable passage into the fourth round of the FA Cup last night, defeating Queen's Park Rangers 2-0 at the Riverside.

Goals from Andy Campbell and Robbie Mustoe in a five-minute purple patch after the interval made it relatively easy for Middlesbrough, and justified Bryan Robson's decision to leave out five regulars and include three teenagers, including the 18-year-old debutant right-back, Robbie Stockdale.

QPR dominated a hugely forgettable opening half, but in the end Middlesbrough made the 11-place gap between the two Nationwide First Division clubs tell to clinch a home tie with Arsenal or Port Vale, who replay at Vale Park tonight.

Middlesbrough, inspired by Andy Townsend, made an excellent start to the second half and in the 54th minute Campbell drilled a superb effort into the bottom corner following excellent midfield play by Neil Maddison and Paul Merson.

Less than five minutes later Middlesbrough were 2-0 ahead, when Mustoe fired home his fifth goal of the season - an 18-yard drive from the edge of the QPR penalty area which gave Lee Harper no chance.

There were no shocks at Edgar Street either after two goals from Tranmere's Gary Jones killed off Hereford of the GM Vauxhall Conference. Clint Hill added the third as John Aldridge's side ran out comfortable 3-0 winners to set up a home tie with Sunderland.

Andy Watson's two goals at Peterborough sent Walsall through to a money- spinning fourth-round date with Manchester United at Old Trafford, while two goals from the Dutch midfielder Richard Sneekes inside four first- half minutes helped West Bromwich beat Stoke for the first time in 19 meetings at The Hawthorns.

Marco Gabbiadini pulled one back for Stoke, but the Irish winger Kevin Kilbane rounded off a 3-1 victory for West Bromwich, who will face Aston Villa if Brian Little's team beat Portsmouth tonight.

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