In fact, when Gareth Southgate’s Boro travelled to Mansfield for an FA Cup fourth round tie nine years ago, it was the first time the two sides had met in two decades.
What the 6,000-odd supporters at Field Mill witnessed was far from a vintage Boro performance against the Nottinghamshire hosts, who would drop out of the Football League at the end of that season. But Lee Dong-gook’s second and final goal for the club, followed by Jake Buxton’s late own goal, ensured Boro avoided a cup upset and were in the hat for the next round.
Boro would reach the quarter-finals of the competition that year, but exited the competition in disappointing fashion courtesy of a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Cardiff City.
Rochdale, meanwhile, are a side Boro have met just once competitively – that was a 0-0 draw in 1987 in what is now known as the EFL Trophy.
A stunner from Adam Reach opened the scoring, before penalties from Kike and Lee Tomlin secured a 3-1 win for Aitor Karanka’s side, who would go on to contest the play-off final at Wembley that campaign.