Winning key for Monk
Manager Garry Monk said that victory was all-important following the narrow derby success against Sunderland at the Riverside.
Teenager Marcus Tavernier's early strike eventually separated recently relegated clubs with current focus at either ends of the new division.
"Derbies aren't the prettiest games a lot of the time but the main thing is you win," Monk told BBC Sport. "The biggest moment of quality in the game was our goal, with the build-up and its execution, and if anything deserved to win the game, that bit of quality did.
"Marcus Tavernier will get stronger with time and experience but we've been delighted with him," he added. "He's deserved his chance and he's done very well, and today is a memory that will live with him forever."
Boro move fifth with their neighbours now firmly rooted to the bottom of the table.