MIDDLESBROUGH boss Tony Mowbray hopes to complete a deal to sign experienced midfielder Kieron Dyer.
Boro’s lack of creativity almost proved costly in Saturday’s FA Cup tie against Aldershot Town, with only a second Lukas Jutkiewicz strike, six minutes into stoppage time, denying the League Two minnows a lucrative replay.
Middlesbrough struggled to convert their chances against a resilient Aldershot, who might have trailed 3-0 at the break but for the heroics of goalkeeper Jamie Young.
Ex-Newcastle man Dyer, recently released by QPR, is a target, and Mowbray revealed: “I’ve had some conversations with Kieron. If Kieron was fit and playing for us then he would be a huge asset for our club.
“I’ve watched some footage of him playing against Gareth Bale for QPR and he did well.
“He’s scored in the FA Cup against West Brom and he’s been available, fit and playing. I’ll have to see if something can be done and we might be close to that.
“If Kieron plays football for us and helps win football matches then I think he would be an asset.”
Jutkiewicz gave Boro an 83rd-minute lead, rising to head home an Adam Reach cross which was already drifting towards the top corner.
Boro’s joy was short-lived, though, as Danny Hylton skipped on to an incisive through-ball to slot home his eighth cup goal of the campaign, setting up a frantic finale.
The final test for Dean Holdsworth’s plucky League Two outfit would be six minutes of stoppage time, but they could not hold out, Jutkiewicz comfortably sliding the ball beyond Young to settle the tie as Boro pushed hard.
Boro will host Brentford or Chelsea in round five, and Mowbray admitted: “The FA Cup starts getting exciting in the fifth round as you’re one game away from the quarter-finals.”
Shots boss Holdsworth was left wondering what might have been after elation turned to disappointment inside 10 frantic minutes.
When asked if the result was a cruel one, he said: “It is certainly is for the players and everyone associated with us because I felt we’d earned a replay.
“We’ve had a fantastic display of commitment from the players and we took our goal fantastically well.
“In the dying seconds we had it ripped away from us and that’s a big blow for the players.”
MIDDLESBROUGH: Steele, Bikey, R Williams, Hines (Leadbitter 78), Parnaby, Reach, Zemmama, Bailey, Smallwood (Halliday 61), Emnes (Ledesma 61), Jutkiewicz. Subs not used: Leutwiler, McManus, Main, Haroun. Booked: Hines, Ledesma, Leadbitter, Halliday. Goals: Jutkiewicz 83,90
ALDERSHOT: Young, Herd, Brown, Bradley, A Morris, Cadogan (Mekki 78), Hector (Rankine 87), Rose, Vincenti, Hylton, Reid (Risser 69). Subs not used: G Morris, Tonkin, Ainsworth, Cooksley. Booked: Hector. Goal: Hylton 89
Att: 12,684. Ref: Andrew Madley (W Yorks)