Ben Gibson hammered home a late header to salvage a scrappy 1-1 draw with Huddersfield and relieve some of the pressure on Tony Mowbray.
Trailing to a deflected James Vaughan goal, there was an ugly mood at the Riverside among fans who have not seen their side win at home this term.
However, Gibson, nephew of chairman Steve, powered home a late leveller on his home league debut to scramble a point and head off some of the dissent from the stands.
Boro made a sluggish start and some sloppy passing gave the visitors the initiative.
However, the hosts almost capitalised on a mistake at the back on 12 minutes as Albert Adomah latched on to a misplaced pass across the Town box but Kei Kamara just failed to make contact with his cross.
Two minutes later a quick ball over the top from Gibson – making his first home league start – sent Kamara chasing into the box - but the goalkeeper was out quickly to just beat him.
Huddersfield threatened on 17 minutes as Teessider Jonathan Hogg robbed Butterfield then teed up Clayton to send a dipping shot well over from 30 yards out.
Boro carved out the first real chance of the game when Mustapha Carayol burst forward then played a one-two to carve open the defence and got to the edge of the box for the return before drilling in a stinging shot which goalkeeper Smithies palmed down then gathered at the second attempt.
Then on 26 minutes Boro won a free-kick in the box after the goalkeeper rashly handled a back-pass 13 yards out and when Adomah squared Dean Whitehead’s first effort was blocked - then Kamara fired the rebound over on the turn.
Boro were being wasteful in possession and as the game grew scrappy the crowd became more audibly nervous.
Huddersfield went close as former Boro loanee Adam Hammill twisted and turned to get past Richardson in the box then chipped against the bar.
Then Boro had three good efforts in a minutes as first Carayol fired a shot straight at the keeper then, as the loose ball was only half scrambled away, Kamara collected, cut inside and lashed in an angled shot that brought a good full-ength save,
From the corner Kamara headed goalwards and again keeper Smithies was forced to make a save.
Boro threatened again on 41 minutes as a neat Rhys Williams ball sent full-back Fraser Richardson over-lapping to send a low cross towards Carayol arriving free in front of goal but alert defender Clarke came sliding in to cut out the danger.
They went close again in stoppage time as Butterfield sent Kamara into the box but he screwed his tight angled shot well wide.
However, Boro then had a lucky escape as a quick Huddersfield raid sent Hammill and Vaughan chasing forward but a last-gasp tackle by Gibson clawed away the danger.
Boro fans were screaming for a penalty two minutes after the restart as Friend went on a good run then slotted the ball into the feet of Kamara, who was bundled over on the edge of the box.
Then a quick exchange of passes and a touch from Kamara sent Grant Leadbitter clear to slam a low 20-yard effort which the keeper got down to save comfortably.
Huddersfield delivered a hammer blow with the opening goal on 58 minutes.
Steele failed to come for a Hammill cross and when Ward’s first shot thudded back off the post Ward slammed in the rebound and it clipped off James Vaughan and squirted in.
Boro went close on 67 minutes as substitute Jutkiewicz got down the right and crossed for Kamara to send a header flashing wide.
The Teessiders won a free-kick 30 yards but when Whitehead rolled it inside Leadbitter slammed in a low shot that was charged down.
Boro grabbed a lifeline on 79 minutes as Gibson climbed highest in a crowd from eight yards out and powered home a crucial header from a Leadbitter corner.
They threatened again as Friend wriggled in from the left before squaring into a crowd but it was hooked clear.
Boro almost grabbed a winner on 85 minutes as Hoyte sent in a good cross and Williams put in a powerful header which hit the angle of post and bar then bounced down and was cleare. scramble.
In the final minute Boro broke forward and Leadbitter slotted into the path of Jutkiewicz who had burst forward - but the offside flag went up.