Goals from Nicky Bailey and Joe Bennett were sufficient to see off the meek challenge of an out-of-sorts Burnley side as Boro claimed their first win at Turf Moor in 17 years.
The Clarets seemed confident at first, passing the ball well against their high-flying opponents, but they were knocked out of their stride in the 10th minute by the brilliance of on-form striker Marvin Emnes.
August’s Championship player of the month waltzed down the left, beating two men, before flighting in a cross which fell kindly for Bailey and his mistimed volley had just enough power to beat the unsighted Brian Jensen.
It was Bailey’s first goal in 45 matches and it also ensured the hosts’ run without a clean sheet was extended to a worrying 19 games.
Burnley’s nerves all of a sudden became apparent and Kieran Trippier twice conceded possession under little or no pressure, presenting the ball to Emnes on one occasion and breathing a huge sigh of relief when the Dutchman failed to take full advantage.
Jay Rodriguez had a chance to relieve some of the pressure midway through the first half but took too long to get his shot away and Bailey was in to block behind for the corner.
Ross Wallace swung the ball in and Ben Mee’s flick header fell for David Edgar, whose close-range effort flew over the bar.
Tony Mowbray’s side were working hard to deny the Clarets’ midfield any room to operate and the home crowd were growing increasingly restless.
Further sloppy play by Keith Treacy was met with roars of disapproval from the Turf Moor crowd, who were also unimpressed with the stop-start nature of a low-quality game.
Both sides emerged unchanged for the second half but Burnley boss Eddie Howe was soon contemplating a substitution when the visitors doubled their lead.
Bennett started and finished a superb move as he beat two players before laying the ball off for Emnes, his shot was parried but Bennett was on hand to tuck it home four minutes into the second half.
Howe immediately introduced new boy Junior Stanislas following his deadline-day move from West Ham, hoping his guile could provide a much-needed boost to his struggling team.
Chris McCann burst forward from the heart of midfield as he sought to rally his side, with his pass allowing Wallace to fire off a shot which deflected behind for a corner, which came to nothing.
Sensing that their opponents had little threat to offer, Boro looked incredibly composed on the ball and a slick passage of passing was greeted with chants of ‘ole’ from the sizeable travelling contingent.
Stanislas attempted to pull the strings, spraying a pass wide for Rodriguez, but the striker was promptly dispossessed by Stephen McManus.
With the clock running down, McCann had one last foray forward and found Rodriguez but his heavy touch, which denied him a shooting opportunity, summed up Burnley’s day.