Ben Liddle scored two crackers, but Boro's Under-23s were edged out in a high-scoring thriller at Heritage Park against Norwich City.
The visitors had a two-goal lead through Jordan Thomas and an own goal from Nicholas Hood in the first period.
Shae Hutchinson made it three for Norwich, but Liddle pulled a goal back for Boro via a free kick and Rumarn Burrell cut the deficit further with a second for the hosts.
Josh Martin restored Norwich's two-goal buffer, but Liddle fired in another strike from distance, however it wasn't enough as Graeme Lee's side were beaten in their first game of 2020.
Elsewhere, our U18s exited the FA Youth Cup with a defeat at West Brom.
Harry Green put Boro in front, but the Baggies netted four times without reply to advance to the next round of the competition.
Watch the highlights from the game against Norwich in the video above.