Rudy Gestede returned from injury to play just over an hour for our Under-23s at Aston Villa on Monday.
The plan was for the striker to play an hour of the contest as he made only his second appearance since August due to a hamstring injury.
While it was a positive step on the recovery trail for Gestede, Graeme Lee’s side were undone in the final 22 minutes of the game after coming from behind twice in the clash.
Daniel Dodds got his name on the scoresheet after just seven minutes when he cancelled out Indiana Vassilev’s fifth minute header.
Vassilev struck again for Villa before half-time, but Isaiah Jones levelled matters for a second time when he showed a cool head to beat Jamie Searle after good work by Gestede.
But Villa hit back to score twice in as many minutes with Jack Clarke joining Vassilev on a brace, scoring after 69 and 71 minutes, before Michael Tait added a fifth goal five minutes from time.
There was still time for Dodds to bag his second of the night to reduce the arrears again, but Villa went on to win the game 5-3.
Boro: Brynn, Dodds, Hood, Dale, Reading, Wearne, Malley (Coburn 71), Jones, Burrell, Gestede (Waites 63), Folarin (Robinson 82). Subs (unused): Metcalfe, Reed.
Watch highlights from the game in the video player above.