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Boro survived a second-half comeback from Mansfield to progress on third round day in the Emirates FA Cup.

On an afternoon that seemed primed for a classic cup upset, what with a boggy pitch, an in-form lower league opponent and a travelling squad with several notable absentees, Chris Wilder’s side looked to have wrapped up the tie in professional fashion with two first-half goals.

But Mansfield came out fighting in the second half, and after their two goals it took a stoppage time winner for Boro to book a place in the next round.

Wilder made a number of changes, with debuts handed to young midfielder Joe Gibson as well as yesterday’s arrival Caolan Boyd-Munce. Another Academy youngster, left-back William Kokolo, made his full debut, while Nathan Wood was involved for the first time since returning from his loan spell with Hibernian.

Another of the changes, Uche Ikpeazu, got the lunchtime kick-off off to an ideal start for Boro. Inside five minutes, the burly striker showed his strength to shrug off two Stags defenders before unleashing an unstoppable curling effort into the top corner.

And with fifteen minutes were on the clock, Boro were back on the offensive and doubling our lead.

It came from a throw-in on the right-hand side, Gibson scurrying towards the byline and producing a pull-back which invited fellow debutant Boyd-Munce to stride onto and strike home with his right foot.

The home side then enjoyed their best spell of the half, but their best chances were of Boro’s own doing. A stray pass from Jonny Howson required Lee Peltier to make a sliding intervention, and another mix-up between Joe Lumley and Sol Bamba nearly presented an opportunity, but Bamba swept away from on the floor in the nick of time.

At the other end, Ikpeazu was only denied a second of the afternoon by a superb save from Nathan Bishop, after William Kokolo streaked away down the left and played it his way.

In the second half, Mansfield - who had won ten of their last 11 games - took the initiative. Captain Rhys Oates squandered three glaring opportunities, twice heading over from inside Boro’s box and also scooping one over from close range.

Wilder looked to the bench to freshen things up, with Marcus Tavernier and Matt Crooks introduced in place of debutants Gibson and Munce-Boyd, and soon after Onel Hernandez was on for Josh Coburn.

But the pressure kept coming, and on 66 minutes, defender Oliver Hawkins did reduce the deficit as he towered above Bamba and powered a header past Sol Bamba.

The hosts thought they had levelled up with a little under ten minutes remaining as Danny Johnson prodded home from a matter of yards after the ball had squirmed from Lumley’s grasp - but the lineman’s flag denied him.

It wasn’t long before Town were on terms though, Oates finally making his mark as he strode through the middle of the pitch before rounding Lumley and slotting home.

The game was wide open now, but it was Boro who stood up to the test to notch a second stoppage time winner in as many games.

Anfernee Dijksteel had seen a glorious chance go begging minutes earlier when he steered Onel Hernandez’s deep cross over the top, and it was deep into stoppage time when another substitute in Isaiah Jones forged a chance out wide.

Championship Player of the Month Jones kept his feet well and drilled across goal towards the waiting Onel Hernandez, only for Elliott Hewitt to turn into his own net ahead of the Cuban.