Nottingham Forest's relegation worries grew as Middlesbrough secured a first league win since Boxing Day with goals from Marvin Emnes and Lukas Jutkiewicz.
The hosts controlled much of the first half, taking the lead when Emnes' shot deflected in off Guy Moussi.
Jutkiewicz hammered home to double the lead, but Boro were made to sweat.
Joel Lynch's header pulled a goal back for Forest before the hosts had Kevin Thompson sent off for a second yellow, but Middlesbrough clung on.
Forest, who remain five points adrift of safety, were on the back foot during a first half dominated by Boro.
Emnes had already fired just off target before he cut in off the flank a few minutes later to see his cross-cum-shot find its way past Lee Camp off Moussi.
Jutkiewicz stroked home from just outside the box on the other side of the break, but Middlesbrough could not afford to coast after Andy Reid's free-kick was guided home by Lynch at the near post.
Thompson was red carded when he earned a second booking for an untidy challenge on Adelene Guedioura in the 75th minute.
And the Algerian international almost snatched a point when his rasping long-range effort thudded clear off the crossbar.
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray:
"We worked very hard for it.
"You get a sloppy goal to concede and the sending off on the back of that left us digging in.
"The pleasing aspect is the resilience the team showed in the last quarter of an hour to see the game out."
Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cotterill:
"We deserved something. We conceded at awful times but still created enough chances - even at 2-0 down - to come back and win.
"Obviously later on, in the last 15-20 minutes or so and playing against 10 men, you're going to get create more.
"But even with the 11 on the pitch, in the second half after we dealt with the goal we were the better team."
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.90:00 +4:39
Chris Gunter delivers the ball, clearance by Joe Bennett.90:00 +4:21
Robbie Findley takes a shot. Save by Jason Steele.90:00 +3:16
Luke Chambers delivers the ball, free kick awarded for a foul by Robbie Findley on Justin Hoyte. Jason Steele takes the free kick.90:00 +2:48
The ball is crossed by Andy Reid, Richard Smallwood makes a clearance.90:00 +1:57
The assistant referee flags for offside against Curtis Main. Lee Camp restarts play with the free kick.90:00 +1:29
Foul by Luke Chambers on Curtis Main, free kick awarded. Joe Bennett takes the direct free kick.90:00 +0:53
George Elokobi delivers the ball, Adlene Guedioura takes a shot. Save made by Jason Steele.89:51
Andy Reid sends in a cross, free kick awarded for a foul by Joel Lynch on Joe Bennett. Direct free kick taken by Jason Steele.89:19
Julio Arca crosses the ball, clearance by Danny Higginbotham.88:06
Effort from the edge of the area by Andy Reid goes wide of the left-hand upright.87:12 Booking
Booking Luke Chambers is cautioned.86:39
Luke Chambers gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Curtis Main. Direct free kick taken by Julio Arca.85:54
Direct free kick taken by Matthew Bates.85:54 Booking
Booking Booking for Chris Gunter.85:20
Free kick awarded for a foul by Chris Gunter on Curtis Main.84:50
Andy Reid takes a inswinging corner.83:28
George Elokobi produces a cross, clearance by Rhys Williams.81:59
Adlene Guedioura concedes a free kick for a foul on Joe Bennett. Direct free kick taken by Jason Steele.80:29
Adlene Guedioura takes a shot from 30 yards.
Substitution Curtis Main is brought on as a substitute for Lukas Jutkiewicz.74:04 Substitution
Substitution Tony McMahon on for Marvin Emnes.74:04 Dismissal
Dismissal Kevin Thomson is shown a red card for second bookable offence.72:48
Kevin Thomson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Adlene Guedioura. Andy Reid restarts play with the free kick.72:13
Corner taken left-footed by Andy Reid to the near post, Lukas Jutkiewicz manages to make a clearance.71:57
George Elokobi takes a shot. Blocked by Rhys Williams.71:34
Andy Reid takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Rhys Williams.69:51
Centre by Richard Smallwood, Lukas Jutkiewicz takes a shot. Lee Camp makes a comfortable save.69:22
Outswinging corner taken by Kevin Thomson, clearance made by Joel Lynch.69:17
The ball is delivered by Lukas Jutkiewicz, Luke Chambers gets a block in.68:02
Andy Reid takes a outswinging corner to the near post, clearance by Rhys Williams.66:54
Free kick crossed left-footed by Andy Reid, clearance by Lukas Jutkiewicz.66:54 Booking
Booking Kevin Thomson receives a yellow card.66:50
Free kick awarded for a foul by Kevin Thomson on Robbie Findley.65:22
Andy Reid provided the assist for the goal.65:22 Goal scored
Goal! - Joel Lynch - Middlesbro 2 - 1 Nott'm For Joel Lynch finds the net with a headed goal from close in. Middlesbrough 2-1 Nottm Forest.64:09
A cross is delivered by Andy Reid,64:09 Booking
Booking Joe Bennett shown a yellow card.63:51
Joe Bennett challenges Chris Gunter unfairly and gives away a free kick.62:04
Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Kevin Thomson, Danny Higginbotham manages to make a clearance.61:31
Marvin Emnes fouled by Guy Moussi, the ref awards a free kick. Kevin Thomson restarts play with the free kick.59:32
The ball is swung over by Chris Gunter, George Elokobi challenges Jason Steele unfairly and gives away a free kick. Jason Steele restarts play with the free kick.58:59 Substitution
Substitution Scott Wootton goes off and Andy Reid comes on.58:30
Lukas Jutkiewicz has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.56:53
Lukas Jutkiewicz gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Luke Chambers. Free kick taken by Luke Chambers.53:21 Substitution
Substitution Richard Smallwood comes on in place of Faris Haroun.51:23
Kevin Thomson decides to take the corner short.51:18
The ball is sent over by Justin Hoyte, Scott Wootton manages to make a clearance.49:34
Corner taken by Joe Bennett from the right by-line to the near post, Headed effort from inside the area by Rhys Williams misses to the left of the target.45:01 Substitution
Substitution (Nottm Forest) makes a substitution, with Joel Lynch coming on for Marlon Harewood.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Ishmael Miller goes off and Robbie Findley comes on.45:52 Goal scored
Goal! - Lukas Jutkiewicz - Middlesbro 2 - 0 Nott'm For Lukas Jutkiewicz grabs a goal from just inside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Middlesbrough 2-0 Nottm Forest.45:01
The match restarts for the second half.45:00 +3:40 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.45:00 +0:11
Assist on the goal came from Marvin Emnes.45:00 +0:11 Goal scored
Goal! - Marvin Emnes - Middlesbro 1 - 0 Nott'm For Marvin Emnes fires in a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Middlesbrough 1-0 Nottm Forest.44:05
George Elokobi challenges Faris Haroun unfairly and gives away a free kick. Kevin Thomson delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right by-line, clearance made by George Elokobi.43:46
Justin Hoyte sends in a cross, clearance made by Guy Moussi.43:41
Centre by Joe Bennett.43:31
Seb Hines delivers the ball.43:19
The ball is swung over by Lukas Jutkiewicz, Garath McCleary manages to make a clearance.42:00
Shot from just outside the box by Kevin Thomson goes over the crossbar.40:51
The ball is delivered by Kevin Thomson.40:22
The referee gives a free kick against Ishmael Miller for handball. Direct free kick taken by Kevin Thomson.40:15
A cross is delivered by Justin Hoyte, Danny Higginbotham makes a clearance.40:07
The ball is sent over by Joe Bennett.39:33
Centre by Joe Bennett.38:07
The ball is crossed by Seb Hines, Luke Chambers makes a clearance.37:36
The ball is swung over by Chris Gunter, Seb Hines makes a clearance.36:17
The ball is delivered by Kevin Thomson.35:53
Outswinging corner taken by Kevin Thomson, Danny Higginbotham manages to make a clearance.35:46
The ball is delivered by Julio Arca, clearance by Adlene Guedioura.35:41
The ball is swung over by Justin Hoyte.35:25
Guy Moussi concedes a free kick for a foul on Faris Haroun. Kevin Thomson takes the free kick.34:33
Justin Hoyte produces a cross.33:25
Shot on goal by Marvin Emnes from just inside the area clears the crossbar.32:59
The ball is sent over by George Elokobi, Ishmael Miller takes a shot. Jason Steele makes a save.32:52
Guy Moussi crosses the ball, Matthew Bates makes a clearance.32:28
The ball is sent over by Garath McCleary, clearance by Rhys Williams.32:09
The ball is sent over by Seb Hines, Julio Arca takes a shot. Blocked by Scott Wootton.31:25
Marlon Harewood produces a left-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that goes wide left of the target.29:22
Joe Bennett crosses the ball, Scott Wootton manages to make a clearance.28:08
The ball is swung over by Joe Bennett.27:09
Free kick awarded for a foul by Marvin Emnes on Luke Chambers. Luke Chambers takes the direct free kick.26:26
Joe Bennett is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Lee Camp.24:46
Shot from just outside the area by Ishmael Miller misses to the left of the target.23:02
Adlene Guedioura challenges Julio Arca unfairly and gives away a free kick. Marvin Emnes crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Luke Chambers.21:54
Effort on goal by Garath McCleary from just inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.20:53
Joe Bennett sends in a cross.19:36
Effort from the edge of the area by Lukas Jutkiewicz goes wide of the left-hand post.17:05
The ball is swung over by Faris Haroun.16:38
Joe Bennett produces a cross, clearance by George Elokobi.13:02
Shot from just outside the area by Marvin Emnes misses to the left of the target.12:20
Lukas Jutkiewicz takes a shot. Luke Chambers gets a block in.9:05
Julio Arca gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Chris Gunter. Lee Camp takes the direct free kick.8:51
Kevin Thomson crosses the ball, Garath McCleary makes a clearance.8:38
Justin Hoyte crosses the ball.7:28
Marlon Harewood gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Faris Haroun. Kevin Thomson takes the direct free kick.6:33
Unfair challenge on Danny Higginbotham by Lukas Jutkiewicz results in a free kick. Lee Camp takes the direct free kick.5:26
Unfair challenge on Marlon Harewood by Seb Hines results in a free kick. Adlene Guedioura takes the direct free kick.3:53
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Adlene Guedioura, Danny Higginbotham produces a header from close range which goes wide of the left-hand post.3:02
Outswinging corner taken by Adlene Guedioura, clearance made by Seb Hines.0:57
The referee blows for offside against Garath McCleary. Free kick taken by Jason Steele.0:00
The referee gets the match started.
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