Coventry 3 Middlesbrough 1: Two off as Boro endure nightmare ahead of Sunderland cup trip

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Middlesbrough suffered a nightmare third successive defeat at lowly Coventry today – the worst possible build-up to next weekend’s eagerly-awaited FA Cup trip to Sunderland.

To add to insult to injury, Boro had Kevin Thomson sent off for a second bookable offence, three minutes after the Sky Blues had gone ahead, before ex-Sunderland midfielder Julio Arca saw red in the closing stages for a lunge at Sammy Clingan.

Debutant Alex Nimely – who had a loan stint with Boro earlier in the season – set up Gary McSheffrey for the opener and doubled the lead before Matthew Bates put through his own goal as Coventry stormed three up.

Scott McDonald pulled one back, finishing off Marvin Emnes’s cross, but Boro were a well-beaten side, with their Championship promotion hopes suffering another blow.