Aston Villa 0 Middlesbrough 2
Tue 19th Sep 7.45pm
Patrick Bamford scored twice as Middlesbrough came out on top against ten-man Aston Villa in the EFL Cup third round at Villa Park.
The 24-year-old opened the visitors' account from the penalty spot after being brought down by the already cautioned Tommy Elphick with the hour-mark approaching.
Within ten minutes the former Chelsea forward had doubled his tally having already headed against the crossbar during the opening forty-five minutes.
Boro handed a debut to Lewis Wing and another opportunity for Marcus Tavernier, with fellow Under-23s Aynsley Pears and George Miller included on the bench.
But it was Villa's Elphick seeing an early header ruled out for offside, while Connor Roberts delivered towards the other end for Bamford to head against the woodwork.
Midfielder Adam Forshaw also had a distance effort turned aside by keeper Jed Steer and Tavernier proved wide of the mark on the rebound.
The Teessiders still moved in front as Bamford drove his 58th minute penalty down the middle following their opponents being reduced to ten-men as Elphick departed the action.
And that was soon improved upon after Bamford met Tavernier's cross from the left and despatched a header beyond Steer.
Jake Doyle-Hayes' reply failed to seriously concern recalled keeper Dimi Konstantopoulos, while Boro's Tavernier struck the crossbar at close-range and debutant substitute Miller was also narrowly over from the edge of the area.
Aston Villa: Steer, Hutton, Elphick, Samba, de Laet, Lansbury (McCormack 41), Doyle-Hayes, Onomah (Blackett-Taylor 81), O'Hare, Bjarnason, Hogan (Lyden 63)
subs (unused): Bree, Richards, Bunn, Clark
Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos, Roberts, Ayala, Gibson (Fry 46), Friend, Howson, Forshaw, Bamford, Wing (Downing 63), Tavernier, Fletcher (Miller 82)
subs (unused): Fabio, Assombalonga, Baker, Pears
Goals: Bamford (pen 58, 67)
Ref: S. Martin