Middlesbrough boss Michael Carrick praised his side as they overcame spirited Exeter to win a cracking Carabao Cup fourth round clash at St James Park 3-2.

League One Exeter took a shock lead with a stunning Ryan Trevitt strike but two goals in quick succession from Morgan Rogers and Sammy Silvera turned the tie on its head at the start of the second half.

Trevitt levelled things up with another brilliant long-range strike but went from hero to villain as his needless shirt pull on Rogers inside the penalty box allowed Emmanuel Latte Lath to settle a pulsating clash in the Championship side’s favour from the spot eight minutes from time.

“It’s kind of what you come to expect with games like this, there was obviously a lot to play for and a lot at stake,” Carrick said.

“I thought we started all right and we had a lot of the ball. We played OK without really looking dangerous, but we had enough of the ball and then they scored an unbelievable strike from nowhere and it gave them a lot in the game then to hold on to.

“In the second half I thought we took it up a level, the spaces started to open up, which we exploited, and we scored some really good goals, so I am delighted to be through.

“I am delighted for the travelling supporters – 1,000 came down on a Tuesday night, which is absolutely amazing – and I am delighted the goals were in front of them, so they could celebrate.

“We made a few changes to the team and it is not always easy to click straight away, so we were calm at half-time and just said to keep believing, keep penetrating the spaces and playing positively and they did that.

“There were some terrific goals as well, we probably could have had more but it was a good tie for the neutral with plenty of good goals as well.”

Exeter were aiming to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in their history and manager Gary Caldwell cut a proud but frustrated figure at full-time.

“It was a brilliant performance, loads of effort and endeavour,” he said. “We got asked serious questions against a top side, a potential Premier League side, next season.

“It wasn’t for the want of trying we went out of the Cup. All credit to the players, they gave everything and we got beaten by the better team tonight. Sometimes you have to hold your hands up to that and we wish them well in the next round.

“It was a brilliant atmosphere in the stadium right from kick-off, the players took that on board and we had a clear game plan.

“It was a poor start to the second half but a great reaction and Trevitt scored an amazing goal and, at that point, it was game on and it was a proper cup tie. But a soft penalty decides it.”

Exeter gave Middlesbrough a scare in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup, but the Championship side’s superior quality ultimately prevailed as they won a cracking cup tie 3-2 at a sodden St James Park.

Boro started the first competitive fixture between the two clubs well but it was League One Exeter that broke the deadlock in impressive style in the 13th minute.

A quick throw released Kyle Taylor down the right and he pulled the ball back to the edge of the penalty box where Ryan Trevitt hit a stupendous half-volley over goalkeeper Tom Glover and into the goal off the underside of the crossbar.

Dael Fry volleyed just wide as Exeter struggled to clear a corner, while Samuel Silvera forced Vili Sinisalo into a smart stop as Michael Carrick’s team responded well to the setback.

Exeter suffered an injury blow when the dangerous Demetri Mitchell, the hero of their 1-0 win in the previous round against Premier League Luton, hobbled off and was replaced by Vincent Harper in the 33rd minute.

The home side rarely threatened going forward but approaching half-time Harper stood the ball up perfectly to the back post, only for James Scott to get his header wrong and see the opportunity go begging.

Boro always looked the more likely to score and went close again on the stroke of half-time, but Sinisalo was equal to Silvera’s effort and tipped it over the bar.

The Teessiders stepped things up after the break and drew level within four minutes of the restart.

Jack Fitzwater failed to clear his lines – although it appeared the Exeter was fouled – and the ball came to Morgan Rogers, who curled a delightful shot into the roof of the net from 20 yards.

It got worse for Exeter just before the hour mark as Silvera was given too much space on the edge of the penalty and he lashed a shot that skipped off the slick surface, through the arms of Sinisalo and into the bottom corner.

Silvera was just off target with another effort from distance, with the Championship side in complete control of the game.

However, out of the blue, Trevitt drew Exeter level in the 66th minute with another superb long range strike, which took a slight deflection of Paddy McNair before nestling into the bottom corner of the net.

Sinisalo made a brilliant save to deny the dangerous Silvera, who slipped through the Exeter defence with ease, Hayden Hackney curled a free-kick into the side-netting, then Exeter’s Finnish international goalkeeper saved well from Emmanuel Latte Lath.

However, Trevitt went from hero to villain as he gave away a needless penalty for pulling the shirt of Rogers and Latte Lath sent Sinisalo the wrong way from 12 yards to settle a pulsating tie with eight minutes remaining and give Boro an eighth win in nine matches in all competitions.

Exeter manager Gary Caldwell was pleased to end a run of six straight defeats in League One but said there was plenty of room for improvement after a 1-1 draw with Lincoln.

Conceding soft goals has been a common theme in that run of poor form and Exeter did so again on 20 minutes when Will Aimson’s poor header fell for Paudie O’Connor and he crossed for Alistair Smith to score from 10 yards.

The Grecians were much improved after the break and deservedly drew level in the 81st minute when Ryan Trevitt headed in from Demetri Mitchell’s cross but despite plenty of possession, Exeter could not find a winning goal.

“I thought in the first half, we were a little bit edgy again, but we created a great chance for Ads (Admiral Muskwe) and a brilliant chance for James (Scott) just before half-time,” Caldwell said.

“I think we took that momentum at the end of the first half into the second half and in the second half, I have seen the team that I saw earlier in the season playing on the front foot, aggressive, creating opportunities for our wide players one-v-one and thankfully, from that, we created an opportunity for Ryan and he scored a brilliant goal.

“We could have scored more but I think, under the circumstances, it’s a really good point and something for us to build on.

“We can’t keep conceding bad goals. It is something we have tried to address and I don’t think we started the game with the right intensity.

“I felt they scored and just tried to slow the game down, sit in and play on the counter-attack, which most teams do here. But we have to stop conceding those early goals and giving ourselves a mountain (to climb) to get back into the game.”

It was a third game unbeaten for Lincoln’s interim head coach Tom Shaw, who said: “It has been a long week, we have had two very long trips.

“It was a bit of a disaster getting down here with the traffic but the physical effort of this group of players has been phenomenal.

“Perhaps we were just feeling it in the last 10 minutes but the character, grit and determination we have got us over the line and we managed to get a positive result.

“Everybody who watched this game will see Exeter are a very good football team. They passed the ball well, they have got nice rotations, they are obviously well drilled and well coached. And the run of the games they have had, some of their results have not been just so we knew it was a tough one.

“There is some real technical ability and I am not sure whether we have unlocked it to its maximum to this point.”

Exeter manager Gary Caldwell has high hopes for Ryan Trevitt after his goal set up a 2-0 win over Carlisle.

Trevitt and Demetri Mitchell sealed the points to make a long trip north worth the effort, following a midweek defeat at Portsmouth.

“It was a fantastic result after a really difficult week,” said Caldwell. “We had to recover well after Tuesday night and after everyone’s really hard efforts we thankfully got the result here today.

“After the first 15 minutes of the second half we looked the stronger team. The substitutes gave us a real attacking threat. It was a big team effort and I have to thank everyone at the club who contributed today.”

Trevitt opened the scoring on 70 minutes with his first professional goal and Caldwell was full of praise for the Brentford loanee.

“Ryan’s been brilliant since he joined the club and I can see him scoring a lot more goals between now and the end of the season,” he said.

“He’s got a brilliant knack of finding the corner. It was a brilliant finish.”

Exeter kept their third clean sheet of the season against Carlisle.

“We’ve been very good defensively,” Caldwell said.

“It was a big question mark in pre-season and in fairness the whole team have worked hard on defending set-pieces and working hard off the ball. That allows you to make moments to go and win the game and when we got our two moments, we took them.”

Paul Simpson believes his Carlisle side are not too far away from where he would like despite the result.

“I thought there was a lot of good things today. We had good controlled possession and worked their keeper well,” he said.

“My over-riding thought is that we’re not too far away now. But that’s also a frustration.”

Carlisle were on top in spells of the game and Simpson rues the chances his side missed.

“When we’re on a good spell that first goal is all important,” he said. “There were opportunities to get crosses in and we hit the first man and that’s where the real frustration lies.

“We do know the importance of scoring the first goal when we’ve had the chances. We’ve had the corners. We overloaded the near post with good deliveries but fine margins and we didn’t get on the end of those good balls.”

Goalscorer Mitchell was on a yellow card when he fouled Fin Back in the first half but Simpson was coy about the decision not to send the Exeter man off.

“If he hadn’t been on a yellow, it might have been given but I don’t like seeing players sent off,” he said.

“It’s not why we lost today so I would be clutching at straws if I were to claim that cost us the game today.”

Ryan Trevitt and Demitri Mitchell netted as Exeter beat Carlisle 2-0 at Brunton Park.

Exeter found the breakthrough when Trevitt struck 20 minutes from time for his first professional goal.

Mitchell stroked home with eight minutes left to make the points safe, but Carlisle may have felt aggrieved he was not sent off in the first half after a possible second bookable offence.

United started well and Sean Maguire pulled a first-minute shot narrowly wide of the Exeter goal, before Fin Back’s volley whistled close as the home side dominated the early moments.

Maguire again created an opening for Carlisle, heading a decent chance into Viljami Sinisalo’s grateful grasp. The City keeper was called into action again when Maguire fired low on 53 minutes.

Despite the Carlisle pressure, Trevitt fired home from the edge of the box to give the Grecians the lead on 70 minutes.

On 82 minutes, Mitchell got on the end of a Jack Aitchison cross and picked out the bottom corner to seal the game for Exeter.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.