Two second half goals proved the difference as Boro went down to a 2-0 defeat at Coventry City.

It was a game decided by the finest of margins after Viktor Gyorkeres struck midway through the second half before Martyn Waghorn settled matters in the final minute at the CBS Stadium.

It was a day of new faces in the squad for Boro and Neil Warnock was able to name new signing Onel Hernandez in the starting line-up while Andraz Sporar and James Lea Siliki were among the subs. 

Martin Payero was absent, though, after picking up a knock in training on the Friday, and the boss was forced into an 11th hour change after Paddy McNair was injured during the warm-up, meaning a late call for Sol Bamba.

Hernandez was involved early on when Boro had what looked like a good shout for handball waved away after a free-kick was curled into the box. The on-loan winger also showed what a threat he will be when he whipped a low ball across the face of goal which just eluded the on-rushing Boro players.

There were a few hefty challenges in the first half, Uche Ikpeazu going down in the box under pressure from Fankaty Diabo after a great ball from Matt Crooks, and Isaiah Jones was also on the receiving end of a couple of juicy tackles.

For the home side, Waghorn fired over from a Jamie Allen cross and Joe Lumley did well to thwart the Coventry striker before a vital boot denied Allen the opportunity from the ensuing melee.

Home goalkeeper Simon Moore was called upon to save from Marcus Tavernier and he also collected an acrobatic effort from Bamba, while Hernandez sent an effort just wide of the mark when Boro threatened again.

Moore made a triple save to keep the scores level at the start of the second half when he showed great reactions to deny Ikpeazu, Jones, and Hernandez in the same phase of play.

It was time for two more debuts with half-an-hour remaining when Sporar and Lea Siliki stepped off the bench to replace Ikpeazu and Hernandez.

But it was the visitors who stole the lead with 20 minutes left on the clock after seizing on a loose ball inside their own half. A good pass split the Boro defence to give Gyorkeres the run of goal and he concerted despite the best efforts of Lumley, and Anfernee Dijksteel and Jonny Howson on the Boro line.

It wasn’t a lead the home side deserved, and Lumley was called upon again moments later to make a great save from what appeared to be a harsh free-kick awarded right on the edge of the Boro box.

Warnock’s men had to rally as the clock started to tick down and Crooks was denied by the bar after Lea Siliki delivered a great cross into the box. Grant Hall also sent an effort over the top after he found himself in space in the box.

But the result was settled in the final minute when Waghorn was released on goal and he delivered a good finish beyond Lumley to seal the points.

Coventry: Moore, Clarke-Salter (Rose 76), McFadzean, Allen, Waghorn, O’Hare, Hyam, Gyokeres, Maatsen (Kane 82), Dabo, Hamer. 

Subs: Wilson, Jones, Sheaf, Walker, Hamer.

Boro: Lumley, Dijksteel, Hall, Fry, Howson, Bamba, Tavernier, Crooks, Jones(Watmore 76), Hernandez (Lea Siliki 62), Ikpeazu (Sporar 62).

Subs: Daniels, Olusanya, Peltier.

Referee: Leigh Dougherty

Att: 19,233 (2,649 Boro)