First Footing: March 1904, the first cup tie ever played at the brand new Ayresome Park. Boro's first three that season were away, at Millwall, Preston and City's Hyde Road.
City Cup Highs: winning it in 1904, 1934, 1956, 1969, & 2011.
City Cup Lows: waiting through seven years of war until 1946 to play a competitive game then going out of the FA Cup 8-2 at home to Bradford City; losing to a relegated Wigan team in the 2013 final; fielding a reserve team with six teenagers and five debutants in the fifth round against Chelsea last season as they had a Champions League match three days later. And losing 5-1.
Boro Highs: 2-0 (January 2015) and 1-0 (February 1997) there; and here 1-0 (January 1972 and January 1976 - 90 minutes from Wembley....); 2-1 (December 1991 and January 1992).
Boro Lows: 0-4 (January 1976) there; 1-3 (March 1904), 0-1 (January 2010) here. And 1-2 (December 1990) in the ZDS Cup.
Boro Hero: John Hickton (January 1972), only goal of game on ice rink - with an orange ball; Robbie Mustoe and Paul Wilkinson (December 1992), goals taking Boro into League Cup semi for only the second time; Alan Kernaghan and Paul Wilkinson (January 1992), goals within a minute of each other in 2-1 win; Patrick Bamford and Kike (January 2015) goals in 2-0 win.
Boro Villain: Tim Williamson (March 1904) rare error from legendary keeper to gift City early goal. Bobby Murdoch and Graeme Souness (January 1976) backpasses to gift City their third and fourth goals.
City Villain: Francis Lee (January 1972), injury-time dive over Stuart Boam for equalising penalty with Boro 1-0 up, then admitted it to the papers; Mike Summerbee, who laid out Willie Maddren with off-the-ball karate chop to the neck in the replay; and Malcolm Allison, who threatened much worse in the tunnel at the end. Joe Corrigan (January 1976), or rather the officials who failed to see him drag Terry Cooper's shot back from over the line. And Mike Doyle, who ran to the Boro players at the end "gloating for England," as one put it, to be flattened by Willie Maddren as weeks of frustration exploded. Thankfully the ref either missed it or decided it was deserved.
City Bad Boy: Steve McMahon (January 1992), two-footed, studs-up launch at Jamie Pollock, who managed to get out of the way and save his season, his career and possibly his leg. McMahon was taken off before he was sent off. Mysteriously edited out of Match of the Day, but did appear in a later BBC progamme on the worst fouls of all-time as its director Mike Wadding was a Boro fan from Stockton.
Atonement: Allison managed Boro 10 years later, Corrigan became Boro goalkeeping coach. Alan Kernaghan joined City 18 months after putting them out of the FA Cup.
Typical Boro: 1-3 (March 1904). They'd beaten City 6-0 in the league, which remained the biggest win until that 2008 8-1. Even the draw at City was an achievement - they failed to win a single away game all season, and wouldn't win one for another year, which is perhaps why 2,000 fans welcomed the team home at the station. Schools closed and factories ran down on the afternoon of the replay for the original Ayresome cup letdown. 0-1 (January 2010) Benjani's first goal for over a year - and he didn't score another for 10 months.
Typical Tight Boro: 0-4 (January 1976) the team coach stuck in traffic because the club decided to travel on the day, no police escort, the team arrived 40 minutes before kick-off, had to sort out tickets for relatives (for the biggest game in Boro's history) and then found out that as the pitch was so watery they needed to change their studs. But there was only one pair of pliers to do it with. 12 players had to wait their turn.
The Gods Conspire: 1904, star midfielder Sammy Aitken had to miss the game for a family funeral.
Omen Corner: 1-3 (March 1904), set the tone for nearly a century of cup disappointment at Ayresome Park, City won the trophy, Boro only won one more game that season. City's wins came in their first cup tie at both Ayresome Park and the Riverside.
Football First: the 1904 game set a new record attendance of 33,000, 3,000 more than on the opening day against Sunderland. Boro lost that one too, 3-2, as manager John Robson made a speech, saying he'd been after a new ground for 10 years and wouldn't be satisfied until Middlesbrough won the FA Cup. A restless spirit still haunts and waits.
Football Last: 1-0 (January 1976), John Hickton's last goal at Ayresome Park. City were almost the last team to lose a cup-tie there in 1992 - Chelsea did it a year later before Boro lost to Cardiff then Swansea.
Football Everlasting: that turn and drag-back in January 2015. No wonder Vincent Kompany hasn't played much since then, he's probably still staggering round East Manchester wondering where Lee Tomlin is.
Unexpected Item in Bagging Area: Peter Reid's final career goal (January 1992).
Expected Item in Bagging Area: Boro are the second most boring team in Premier League history according to the Telegraph this week, beaten only by George Graham's 1996-97 Leeds (whose only home goal in the last two months of the season came against Typical Boro and relegated them). Older Boro fans will be used to this; Jack Charlton's side got "Boring, boring Boro" everywhere. That Leeds side only scored 28 goals, but only let in 38 and finished mid-table. Anyone who wouldn't take that now?
Boro Bogeyman: Wembley. Five finals in four different competitions, one goal. And now the semi-finals are there, to get to another they have to win there. The ultimate MFC Catch 22.
Wembley and Woe: City were the first team to reach the FA Cup final and get relegated, in 1926. Boro were the fourth in 1997. Wigan were the sixth and last in 2013, and the only team to win it, by beating City. It could be the ultimate Aitor Karanka hoodoo-bust, after Forest, Wednesday, Ipswich and QPR last season. But while he's at it, how about getting them all done at once - with Chelsea and Liverpool in the last two away games?