Middlesbrough surged back up to fifth place in the table after coming from behind to beat play-off rivals Bristol City 2-1 at the Riverside.
The visitors had taken an early advantage through Milan Djuric but George Friend headed an equaliser just five minutes later.
And it was fellow defender Daniel Ayala once again coming up with the goods when crucially heading the winner midway through the second-half.
However, Boro earlier witnessed striker Patrick Bamford carried off following extensive treatment on the pitch after being involved in a collision with Aiden Flint.
Their promotion-chasing opponents had struck the first blow as Marlon Pack headed on and Djuric seized the opportunity to force past Darren Randolph as both Friend and Ayala challenged.
Boro weren’t in arrears for long, though, with Friend despatching a firm header into the far corner to equalise from Adama Traore’s delivery.
That was followed by the unfortunate departure of Bamford to a rousing ovation, before Mo Besic drove wide at the end of the opening half after both he and Stewart Downing had already seen efforts charged down.
The contest proved to be a tight affair upon the resumption, until the hosts decisively went ahead as Ayaya headed in Traore’s corner from the left. The Spaniard on target for the third successive game.
The Robins could still have deprived them of victory in added time when Bobby Reid blazed over from close-in – but this was a significant win for Boro with rivals slipping up.
Middlesbrough: Randolph, Shotton, Ayala, Gibson, Friend, Howson, Clayton, Besic, Traore (Cranie 90), Bamford (Assombalonga 34), Downing (Fabio 88)
subs (unused): Konstantopoulos, Fry, Harrison, Baker
Goals: Friend (18), Ayala (68)
Bristol City: Fielding, Bryan, Flint, Baker, Kelly (O’Dowda 67), Brownhill, Pack, Smith, Reid, Diedhiou (Taylor 67), Djuric (Pisano 46)
subs (unused): Steele, Eliasson, Magnusson, O’Neil
Goals: Djuric (13)
Ref: A. Madley