Boro bowed out of the FA Cup at the third round stage after being edged out by Brentford.
On a night that saw Marcus Browne stretchered off with a knee injury and Sam Folarin score first senior goal, Neil Warnock saw his gallant side beaten 2-1.
Boro’s preparations for the tie had been hampered by the closure of the training ground following a number of positive COVID tests, and Warnock was forced into naming a much changed side that had been unable to do much work on the Rockliffe pitches ahead of the tie.
He made seven changes to the side which beat Wycombe, including debuts for new signing Jordan Archer and young midfielder Hayden Hackney, while the bench comprised of a host of the club’s Under-23s.
It was still Boro who made all the early running. Debutant Hackney shot wide before Chuba Akpom cut inside and had a terrific strike saved.
Marc Bola was next to try his luck and Luke Daniels was tested again when he parried away a Browne effort.
Halil Dervisoglu wasted a good opportunity for the home side before Akpom tested Daniels again after good work by Marcus Tavernier., and Lewis Wing had a free-kick clawed away.
But in between those efforts Dervisoglu opened the scoring for the home side when he slotted home a corner.
And there was more disappointing for Boro before half-time when Browne went down and the game was held up while the player received lengthy treatment before being stretchered from the pitch.
Browne’s replacement was Folarin and he made an immediate impact scoring his first senior goal to level matters at the start of the second half after good work by Tavernier and Patrick Roberts. It was a big moment for Folarin who showed good composure to finish.
The home side were back in front shortly after the hour when Saman Ghoddos worked himself some space and curled the ball beyond the reach of Archer.
Akpom came close to levelling again, but he headed just wide following a Tavernier cross.
In the final moments, Warnock handed debuts to Rumarn Burrell and Isaiah Jones as late substitutes, and the latter had time to curl one shot over the top.