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Coventry City 3-1 Middlesbrough (Middlesbrough Fan's Perspective)

Monday 23rd January 2012
Boro slumped to a third league defeat on the bounce after a mixture of sloppy defending and poor refereeing resulted in a heavy defeat at basement boys Coventry City.

Alex Nimely, who spent the first half of the season on loan at Boro set up Gary McSheffrey for the game's first goal and bagged the second himself shortly after the interval, following the dubious dismissal of Kevin Thomson.

Boro captain Matthew Bates then turned the ball in to his own net following a good delivery from Coventry sub David Bell to make it three. Scott McDonald pulled a goal back for the visitors on 66 minutes as they attempted a fight back, but the Teessider's saw Julio Arca receive a straight red late on for a two footed lunge on Sammy Clingan and Coventry held on to secure an excellent three points in their bid to avoid relegation.

New Middlesbrough striker Lukas Jutkiewicz; signed from Coventry earlier in the week was unavailable for the game following a ‘gentleman's agreement' between the two clubs.

But it was his fellow striker Scott McDonald who could have made an early impact. The Australian international first seized upon a Clingan mistake to volley straight at keeper Joe Murphy and the Coventry stopper pulled off a fantastic save minutes later to deny the same player.

The Ireland international again pulled off a great save from Boro Left-back Joe Bennett as the visitors dominated the early stages.

The home side totally changed the game in the 36th minute however, as Nimely fed McSheffrey who slotted in from close range against the run of play.

Boro's chances were delt another blow minutes later when Kevin Thomson was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Mcsheffrey only 11 minutes after he was harshly booked for bringing down Cyrus Christie.

The home side extended their lead on 57th minute when Nimely; who failed to score in three months at Boro headed in. The away side felt the ball had not crossed the line after it was hooked away by Rhys Williams however the assistant was well placed to give the goal.

Coventry's third goal came less than seven minutes later when Bell was released down the right and his first time cross was turned in to his own net by Matthew Bates.

The visitors responded instantly when Marvin Emnes' drilled cross was tapped in by Scott McDonald and Mowbray attempted to help his team push on with a triple substitution.

Coventry however used their numerical advantage to help close the game out, and Middlesbrough's afternoon was summed up in stoppage time when Arca was given his marching orders to reduce the visitors to 9 men.

Boro will next take a welcome break from the league when they take on bitter North-east rivals Sunderland in the FA cup fourth round. The 3000 fans traveling to the Stadium of Light will be hoping for a massive improvement from recent performances in the first Wear-Tees derby since 2009.
Matthew Nixon

Total articles: 28

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