Boro’s barren run came to an end thanks to a dominant performance against Rotherham.

Goals from George Saville and Chuba Akpom proved decisive in a contest where the 2-1 score line flattered the home side. 

The hosts had taken an early lead, but they had no answer to a Boro side who responded to falling behind by dominating proceedings.

With injuries depleting numbers Neil Warnock was forced into digging deep into his squad and there was a first call-up for Under-23s defender Jack Robinson, who joined fellow youngsters Hayden Hackney, William Kokolo, Connor Malley and Josh Coburn on the Boro bench. 

The game got off to the worst possible start with the home side taking the lead inside three minutes. Rotherham defender Angus MacDonald got up well and unchallenged to head home a corner.

The scores should have been level moments later but Duncan Watmore had a goal ruled out - Rotherham keeper Viktor Johansson adjudged to have had two hands on the ball when the Boro man applied the finishing touch. 

Yannick Bolasie delivered a delightful reverse ball into the box to pick out Chuba Akpom whose header bounced just wide as Boro took the game by the scruff of its neck.

Akpom also showed great feet to work another opening - MacDonald blocking his goal bound shot on the line before Bolasie’s follow-up was deflected over the top. 

Rotherham were reduced to 10 men after 20 minutes when Matt Crooks took out Grant Hall with his head after leading into an aerial challenge with his elbow raised. Hall was left a bloody mess and needing treatment on a head injury.

Hall’s withdrawal paved the way for a debut for Connor Malley, and it was all square by the half hour mark when Neeskens Kebano did well down the left before cutting back for Saville who hammered the ball home.

Kebano was involved again when Jonny Howson hit the bar with a great strike, Bolasie followed up with a header from the rebound and also hit the woodwork.

Rotherham goalkeeper Viktor Johansson was called upon to deal with an in-swinging corner from Marvin Johnson before reacting well to get down to Malley’s follow-up shot.

There was nothing Johansson could do with Boro’s second though. Paddy McNair drilled into the box and Akpom lashed the ball home to make it 2-1.

It would have been 3-1 had Howson not seen another great strike rattle the bar once again while Kebano was denied by a great save from Johansson.

There was still time for teenager Coburn to become the latest Academy product to make his debut when he came on as a sub for the final four minutes.