Doncaster Rovers felt the full force of a Boro backlash as they were put to the sword on Teesside.
Albert Adomah scored twice before the break to get Mark Venus’ caretaker reign off to the best possible start.
Second half goals from Kei Kamara and debutant Daniel Ayala condemned Paul Dickov’s side to their first back-to-back league defeats of the season.
Despite a promising opening to the game, which saw James Coppinger drift into space and drill just wide of Jason Steele’s right-hand post, Doncaster conceded an early goal.
Striker Kamara dropped off his man and from half way played a perfect ball over the top for Adomah to run onto and lob the oncoming Ross Turnbull - booed by section of his former fans - with a delicate finish.
The goal instantly lifted the Riverside crowd and the hosts played with a freedom and attacking fluidity which defied their struggles this season.
Rovers struggled to contain Boro’s front four of Kamara, Adomah, Mustapha Carayol and Marvin Emnes - and every time they attacked Doncaster’s jittery backline they threatened.
First Carayol drifted in from the left and tested Turnbull with a fierce drive. He then showed more nifty footwork out wide but drilled an effort into the side netting, before finding space out wide and crossing for Kamara who headed over the bar.
Emnes then teed up Carayol in the box but the forward failed to keep his effort down.
At the other end, the bright and industrious Mark Duffy exchanged passes with Reece Wabara but shot straight down Steele’s throat.
Rob Jones and Paul Quinn, who both looked harassed by Boro’s frontmen, made vital interventions as Emnes and then Richard Smallwood threatened to double the Teessiders’ advantage.
But they were powerless to prevent a second for Adomah, who met Smallwood’s cross with a downward header which crashed into the roof of the net via a bounce off the slick surface and past a hapless Turnbull.
Rovers came close to halving the deficit on the stroke of half time but Duffy’s corner narrowly evaded Jones and then Bongani Khumalo.
Debutant Yun Suk-Young was quickly involved at both ends at the start of the second half after replacing Quinn, stopping Adomah in his tracks before crossing dangerously at the other end.
Rovers, despite being neat and tidy in possession, offered little going forward.
Dean Furman had a sight of goal but his effort was blocked by Grant Leadbitter, who then played a key role in the goal that killed off Rovers. The midfielder’s deep left wing free kick was met at the back post by Kamara who prodded it into the far corner.
Leadbitter then forced another save from Turnbull with a powerful drive from distance, before Kamara and Emnes both went close with rasping efforts of their own as Boro went for the kill.
Chris Brown’s header from substitute David Cotterill’s cross cannoned back off the post but Rovers’ misery was completed when Ayala headed home Leadbitter’s corner.
*Boro: Steele, Williams, Gibson, Ayala, Woodgate, Leadbitter, Smallwood, Kamara (Main 86), Carayol (Butterfield 81), Emnes, Adomah (Varga 90). Subs: Leutwiler, Friend, Jutkiewicz, Hines.
*Rovers: Turnbull, Quinn (Suk-Young 46), Khumalo, Jones, Wabara, Duffy, Furman (Cotterill 75), Keegan, Coppinger, Robinson, Brown. Subs: Maxted, Paynter, McCullough, De Val Fernandez, Peterson.
*Bookings: Leadbitter, Robinson.
*Goals: Adomah 8, 35, Kamara 67, Ayala 83