After an opening ten minutes where possession and the corner count were evenly shared, Hayden Coulson almost found a way through with a fierce, low drive.

That was blocked on its way to the bottom corner of Andrew Fisher's net and proved to be the only chance of the game in the opening 19 minutes.

For it was on that minute that Blackburn forced their way through down the right and a lay-off set up Cory Evans to strike home low off the right-hand post.

An immediate response fizzled out when Mikael Soisalo wasted an opportunity inside the penalty area. Rovers broke and left-back Lewis Thompson fired just wide from a central position.

The next time Boro mounted an attack it counted as good work from Marcus Tavernier set up Mikael Soisalo who still had a little to do but did it well as he drilled in low from just inside the area.

The same combination edged Boro in front with 33 minutes played as Tavernier threaded through to Mikael Soisalo whose shot from just inside the box was took powerful for Fisher. It was all the goalkeeper could do to get a hand to the low strike, it simply carried too much power.

Rovers went close to levelling three minutes from the break when Lewis Mansell rose to meet a left-wing corner and headed just wide.

Half-time Boro 2 Rovers 1

A lively start to the second half saw Alex Pattison just clear the bar twice in as many minutes and Rovers' Stefan Mols clip the bar with a smart effort on an angle just inside the penalty area.

Not long after, Soisalo missed his easiest chance of the night as he hurriedly and excitedly blasted well over with the goal - and a hat-trick - at his mercy.

A minute later Boro had a two goal cushion as Hayden Coulson rode a tackle in the Rovers penalty area, wriggled into a shooting position and drilled a low shot with very little backlift beyond Fisher.

Rovers played some good stuff as they tried to get back in the game, but this was Boro's night as they played with an openness and fluency not seen often enough this season, turning in their best performance of their league campaign.

Their fourth of the night came on 78 minutes as Mikael Soisalo completed his hat-trick. After a one-on-one was saved, the Finn was set up by Bradley Fewster and tapped home from close range.  

In the closing minutes Boro almost added a fifth as Pattison drilled a low shot just wide through a crowded box.

The final effort of the game came from Rovers substitute Tre Pemberton who shot just over, it would have been nothing more than a consolation.

Scorers Evans 19, Soisalo 27, 33, 78 Coulson 57 

Boro: Pears; Johnson, McGoldrick, McGhee (Capt.), Silva Torrajon, Liddle, Tavernier, Coulson (Mondal 82), Pattison, Soisalo, Fewster. Subs: Hemming (gk); Wheatley, Elsdon, Renton.

Blackburn Rovers: Fisher; Henley (Jackson 46), Thompson, Evans (Grayson 46), Magloire, Travis, Mols (Pemberton 79), Hardcastle, Mansell, Butterworth, Rankin-Costello. Subs: Powell, Hendry.

Referee: Geoff Eltringham

Yellow cards: Tavernier 55, pull-back; Rankin-Costello 64, foul.