Only the woodwork prevented Boro from a flying start at Alex Pattison saw a 20-yard volley crack the top of the bar.
They didn't have to wait long though. With just three minutes played Junior Mondal darted through the middle to the left of the centre circle and fed Marcus Tavernier. He still had a bit to do, but did it well as he raced to the edge of the penalty area and beat goalkeeper Jack Rose with a shot into the bottom corner.
Bradley Fewster twice went close to adding to Boro's lead. First he headed over from an excellent cross from Pedro Silva Torrajon, playing his first game since joining on loan from Boca Juniors, then he forced a flying save from Rose with an angled volley.
It was the home side who continued to dictate most of the play and another quick move created a chance for Jo Wheatley who just cleared the bar with a powerful, dipping shot from 20 yards.
It came as no surprise when Boro increased their lead a minute from the end of normal time in the first half as Bradley Fewster capitalised on a mis-placed back-header and drilled low across Rose.
Half-time: Boro 2 West Brom 0
After weathering early pressure at the start of the second half Boro pushed forward, Mondal danced his way down the left and tried to stand up a cross to the back post but slightly underhit his attempt.
It was the visitors though who had set their stall out and were a different side from the start of the half.
Their pressure eventually paid off when reducing the arrears on 58 minutes with a cracking curling shot from Kyle Edwards from 20 yards.
Boro needed to settle and return to their first half stability and eventually they did.
Pattison was a constant driver in a much improved team performance as Boro responded to the call from lead coach Paul Jenkins following a disappointing defeat at Charlton last Monday.
They could have added another with a series of half chances in the closing stages, but the win by any score was a welcome relief.
Scorers Tavernier 3, Fewster 44, Edwards 58.
Boro: Pears; Johnson, McGoldrick, Elsdon, Silva Torrajon (Coulson 72), Maloney, Tavernier, Wheatley (Capt.), Fewster, Pattison, Mondal. Subs: Hemming (gk); Soisalo, Renton, O'Neill.
West Brom: Rose; Jones, Melbourne, O'Shea, Fitzwater (Nabi 42), Howkins (Artymatas 46), Sweeney, Harper, Forss, Edwards (Pierce 77), Dool. Subs: Wilding, House.
Referee Peter Wright
Yellow cards O'Shea 75, foul; Fewster 68, foul; Johnson 88, foul.