We dictated play in the first half, particularly in the opening 20 minutes, but only really had a spectacular Darren Anderton volley - tipped over by Mark Schwarzer - to show for it.
It was a different story after the break as Boro stepped up a gear following a tactical switch by Steve McClaren, bringing on Massimo Maccarone and later goalscorer Szilard Nemeth - changes that altered the course of the game.
Kasey Keller was forced into action to deny Juninho, then saved a Maccarone penalty and Job somehow missed from six yards before Nemeth's winner after 74 minutes.
Acting boss David reflected: "Obviously we're disappointed because in the first half I thought there was only one side playing cohesive football.
"But we didn't get enough shots as a result of that football.
"Middlesbrough had a surge after half-time but in terms of an away side we've had quite a lot of the play, got in some good positions but couldn't force the issue and at the end of the night, didn't have enough efforts on goal."
David Pleat was disappointed to leave Middlesbrough empty handed but conceded that we didn't do enough with our possession at the Riverside.