Middlesbrough completed a well-deserved FA Cup third round win at Barnsley thanks to a couple of well-taken second-half goals.
Aitor Karanka’s men were dominant almost throughout, and were good value for their eventual margin of victory.
Boro had dominated the first period without managing to score, but it didn’t take them long after the restart to break the deadlock.
Just three minutes into the second half the influential Adam Clayton found Jelle Vossen with a neat diagonal pass, and the Belgian made no mistake, beating Ross Turnbull easily from 15 yards.
Dale Jennings responded for the Reds with a stinging 25-yard drive that Tomas Mejias saved comfortably, while experienced campaigner Leroy Lita did well to wriggle free of Daniel Ayala before stabbing into the side-netting.
There was a scare in the 66th minute when young Reds full-back Mason Holgate headed against his own crossbar, but that would have been extremely cruel as the teenager was one of the better Barnsley performers on the day.
Boro’s victory was wrapped up in emphatic style with seven minutes to go as centre-back Daniel Ayala rose highest o power a header past a flat-footed Turnbull.
It had been a gutsy battle from Danny Wilson’s men, but superior quality and experience won the day for the Championship visitors.
Barnsley (4-4-2): Turnbull; Holgate, Nyatanga, Ramage, Smith; Berry, Digby, Hourihane, Jennings; Lita, Hemmings. Subs: Davies, Brown, Abbott, Oates, Boakye-Yiadom, Bailey, Cowgill.
Middlesbrough (4-2-3-1): Mejias; Williams, Ayala, Omeruo, Husband; Clayton, Whitehead; Tomlin, Bamford, Vossen; Kike.Subs: Friend, Gibson, Leadbitter, Ledesma, Ripley, Reach, Veljkovic.
Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire).