Andre Bennett - Photo-Doug Moody

Included in the home side's line-up were former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson, who has been sidelined all season with a serious illness, as well as first team squad players Markus Olsson and Yann Songo'o.

In the Boro starting XI were two players promoted for the first time from the U18 squad, goalkeeper Joe Fryer and defender Ross McNab.

Boro started the game on the attack and in the first minute Cameron Park tried his luck from distance but his left-footed curler cleared the bar. 

McNab's U21 debut was unfortunately ended in the 14th minute when he was injured in a block tackle with Slew and had to be helped off the pitch. Substitute Bradley Halliday came on and slotted into the right-back position, with Bennett switching to left-back.

Both these players were at the forefront of the action when Boro took the lead on 24 minutes. Halliday swung in a cross from the right-hand touchline, which Robinson could only punch out to the edge of the area.

Bennett controlled the ball in an instant with his left foot before cutting inside and curling an outstanding right-footed shot past the keeper and in off the far post.

The goal lifted Boro and their quick passing style was a joy to watch as they started to take control of the match.

Shortly before the break Rovers tried to hit back and O'Sullivan saw a 20-yard shot go over the bar.

Half-time: Blackburn U21s 0 Boro U21s 1

The second half started in very much the same vein as the first with Boro on the attack. On 48 minutes a cross from the left from Bennett just eluded Charlie Wyke on the far post.

Ledesma then cut inside from the right wing and his sizzling left-foot shot was well tipped wide of the target by Robinson. This proved to be temporary respite for the Rovers keeper, as Ledesma scored an astonishing goal to make it 2-0 on 57 minutes.

Emmanuel Ledesma in action against Newcastle U21s - Photo-Doug Moody

The Argentinian received the ball wide on the left and just as he looked like he was going to take it on the outside he unleashed a thunderbolt that rocketed into the top corner of the net. All who saw it would agree it was a phenomenal goal.

Rovers sub Mahoney tested Fryer on 77 minutes, when he cut in from the right. The young Boro keeper capped off a great night with an excellent save in the last minute from an O'Sullivan free-kick.

Blackburn Rovers: Robinson; Daly, Olsson, Lenihan, Songo'o, Tumwa (Mahoney 61), Molina, O'Sullivan, Slew, Payne, Nunes (Rittenberg 82). Unused subs: Urwin, Preston, Bauress

Boro: Fryer; Bennett, Weledji, Jackson (c), McNab (B Halliday 14), Morris, Park, Waters, Ledesma (Jones 82), Wyke, Williams. Unused subs: Coddington (GK), Kitching, Kneeshaw

Bookings: Lenihan, O'Sullivan (Blackburn), Weledji (Boro)

Attendance: 167

Boro MoM: Captain Adam Jackson was outstanding all night and won everything, both on the ground and in the air. Ledesma electrified the crowd with his goal and all round skills. However, the plaudits go to sub Bradley Halliday who came on early for the injured McNab. His combative display totally nullified the Rovers left-winger and helped Boro to their first clean sheet of the season.