Andraz Sporar scored from the spot to secure Boro all three points against Bournemouth in the Sky Bet Championship’s lunchtime kick-off.
The visitors had and squandered chances in the first half, but Boro came out fighting in the second to claim a merited victory.
Chris Wilder made one change to the side that drew at Stoke a week earlier, with Neil Taylor debuting in place of the injured Marc Bola. Having travelled to the bet365 Stadium as 19th man, youngster Joe Gibson was included on the bench for the first time.
A route one approach handed Boro the game’s first big chance inside the first five minutes. Joe Lumley’s hoisted ball forward invited Isaiah Jones to chace down the right flank, and Duncan Watmore in turn found the arriving Matt Crooks but visiting keeper Mark Travers was equal to his snap-shot.
Boro were nearly the creators of our own undoing on a couple of occasions, the visitors allowing a stray touch from Anfernee Dijksteel to go unpunished, and Jaidon Anthony rolling a shot the wrong side of the post after picking up a wayward pass from Jonny Howson.
Cherries top scorer Dominic Solanke could have broken the deadlock when he was picked out in the six yard box by a deep cross from Ryan Christie, but he nodded wide, then Christie himself missed a glaring opportunity in first half stoppage time when found with a low ball in by Solanke but skewed wide with the goal gaping - debutant Taylor had done just enough to put him off.
Boro started much brighter in the second half, and Andraz Sporar came close to finding the game’s first goal when he latched on to Jones’ slide-rule pass, only for Travers to save the Slovenian’s shot with his feet. There was half a chance for Duncan Watmore on the follow-up, but the forward sent it over the top.
Sporar did not have to wait long to make amends. Jones was again the manufacturer of the chance, his industrious run brought to an end when Maiden Anthony clattered into him to the right of the Bournemouth box. On-loan striker Sporar stepped up, and slotted the spot kick coolly into the bottom corner.
Substitute Junior Stanislas tested Lumley’s goal with a bending free-kick from distance which the goalkeeper pushed away, then Boro’s goalscorer came close to adding to the scoresheet when his whipped first-time effort was tipped over by Travers.
Isaiah Jones was a constant threat on the break, and after Robbin Jordan Zemura of possession couldn’t quite find One Hernandez for an easy finish - instead advancing on goal himself and seeing a shot deflected wide.
When Hernandez did get a chance himself, he tucked it in with precision and wheeled away to celebrate - but the assistant’s raised flag cut the jubilation short.
Those celebrations weren’t delayed for long though, despite more chances for Hernandez, Tavernier and Sporar, the one goal was enough to claim all three points.
Boro: Lumley, Dijksteel, Taylor, Fry, Tavernier, Sporar (Ikpeazu 90), Howson (c), McNair, Watmore (Hernandez 74), Crooks, Jones (Bamba 90)
Unused subs: Daniels, Hall, Hernandez, Payero, Gibson
Bournemouth: Travers, Cook (Brady 78), Kelly (c), Solanke, Christie (Lowe 59), Stacey, Cahill, Kilkenny, Billing, Anthony (Stanislas 59), Zemura
Unused subs: Nyland, Cook, Mepham, Marcondes
Attendance: 18,323 (531 away)