USA international Haji Wright opened his account for Coventry as they beat Middlesbrough 3-0 to pick up their first win of the season at the Coventry Building Society Arena.
It represented the perfect start to life without Gustavo Hamer for the Sky Blues after one of the key figures of their run to last season’s Championship play-off final departed for Sheffield United on Friday night.
It was Hamer’s goal that defeated Middlesbrough in the semi-finals of those play-offs back in May and this was another day where Michael Carrick’s side fired blanks as they fell to a second straight loss in the new campaign.
A perfectly timed challenge by Coventry centre-back Bobby Thomas on Morgan Rogers got the home crowd on their feet in the early stages, after Hayden Hackney’s tame effort had been blocked.
The noise levels only increased when the Sky Blues took the lead in the 11th minute, with Josh Eccles’ shot deflecting into the path of Matty Godden, who steered the ball into the bottom corner.
With the hosts’ tails up, Jay Dasilva tried to add a quick second but could not direct his effort from outside the area on target.
Godden then almost doubled up when his low curler had to be pushed out by Middlesbrough goalkeeper Seny Dieng, with Milan van Ewijk putting the follow-up wide.
Middlesbrough struggled to find a reply, with the sight of Coventry skipper Kyle McFadzean easily brushing off the advancing Sammy Silvera summing up the balance of play.
Ellis Simms had a chance to put the Sky Blues two ahead when he was picked out in the area by Eccles, only to shoot straight at Dieng, but it was a deserved lead for the home side at half-time.
It was almost wiped out just over three minutes into the second half, however, when Rogers shot wide after a dangerous run that took him into the 18-yard box.
That moment began a much better spell for ‘Boro, with Isaiah Jones shooting into the side netting before Silvera should have equalised when he blazed Rogers’ cut-back over from close range.
Finnish striker Marcus Forss was brought on by Carrick and almost struck with his first touch when he poked Paddy McNair’s cross straight at Coventry ‘keeper Ben Wilson.
Wright had also been introduced by this point and it was he who doubled Coventry’s lead in the 70th minute, against the run of play, when he blasted home after Kasey Palmer’s corner was cleared into his path.
A terrific afternoon for the Sky Blues was then embroidered in stoppage time as Godden was found in space out on the right and his cross was deflected into his own net by ‘Boro defender Darragh Lenihan.