NON-LEAGUE Hastings United hit a stunning FA Cup goal at the Riverside Stadium but it was Middlesbrough who progressed to the fourth round.
Despite having 12 members of the first team squad ruled out through injury Tony Mowbray was able to watch the players he relied on possess too much for Ryman Premier League opposition.
Striker Ishmael Miller had already had a penalty saved by goalkeeper Liam O'Brien, signed on loan from Barnet on Friday, when Merouane Zemmama opened the scoring in the 22nd minute.
The Moroccan's first of two was a beautiful chip from 22 yards when he took a touch to control Kevin Thomson's pass before picking his spot in the Hastings goal.
And after Andy Halliday had scored his first for approaching two years by turning in Luke Williams' corner moments after half-time, Zemmama struck again. This time with 22 minutes remaining.
No sooner had his long range strike took a wicked deflection en route to wrong-foot O'Brien and land in his net, Hastings kicked things off and hit their consolation.
Winger Bradley Goldberg it was with the blow. After picking up possession deep in the Boro half, Goldberg unleashed a 22-yard drive which flew high and beyond goalkeeper Jason Steele.
There was never any doubt about the victory, but after a nervy start Hastings did pose enough of a threat to at least make things interesting at times.
But then with six minutes remaining Miller made up for a first half penalty miss – which was tamely hit and easily gathered by O'Brien – by slotting in a clinical fourth.
But Middlesbrough – who handed second half debuts to teenagers Jordan Jones and Bryn Morris - it is who are in Sunday's fourth round draw.
MIDDLESBROUGH (3-4-3): Steele; Bailey, R Williams, Halliday; Parnaby (Haroun 73), Smallwood, Thomson, Reach; Zemmama (Morris 82), Miller, L Williams (Jones 61). Subs: Leutwiler (gk), Jutkiewicz, McDonald, Burgess.
HASTINGS (4-2-3-1): O'Brien; Cox (Manning 72), Ray, Jirbandey, Whitehead; Crelin, Carey; Vickers (Ellis 52), Dixon (Okojie 77), Goldberg; Camara. Subs: Howard (gk), Daly, Richardson, Abbott.