COVENTRY CITY were made to rue their missed chances after slipping to a 1-0 defeat away at play-off rivals Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.
Slovenia international Andraz Sporar scored the winning goal on 58 minutes atfer Kyle McFadzean had earlier hit the crossbar for City.
The result means Coventry sit ninth in the Sky Bet Championship table, five points outside of the play-off places with a game in-hand on the teams above them.
The home side started well and had the game’s first chance when Aaron Connolly fired straight into the arms of Sky Blues goalkeeper Simon Moore.
And Coventry were indebted to Moore again soon after when he made a good save low down to his left to keep out Paddy McNair’s driven free-kick.
The Sky Blues grew into the game and almost found the opener before half-time when Callum O’Hare was denied by Joe Lumley from Jamie Allen’s pass.
Mark Robins’ side improved after the interval and ccame within inches of breaking the deadlock when McFadzean rattled the crossbar from 10-yards out.
However, the home side took the lead against the run of play when a slick move ended with Sporar sliding home at the near post from Folarin Balogun’s cross.
And City almost grabbed an equaliser when O’Hare’s header was superbly tipped over the bar by Lumley from Josh Eccles’s cross.
Boro could have doubled their lead late on only for Moore to keep out Dael Fry’s header at the back post from a corner.
Coventry are next in action away at Premier League side Southampton on Saturday, January 30 in the fourth round of the FA Cup with kick-off at 3pm at St Mary’s Stadium.