Brian Stock scored a dramatic late winner to earn Rovers all three points over Middlesbrough.
Dennis Souza made his first start since joining Rovers and there was places on the bench for defenders Byron Webster and Joseph Mills as Rovers were missing Wayne Thomas and James O`Connor through injury.
Middlesbrough started the better and former Rovers loan defender David Wheater missed an early chance when he headed over from a corner.
It wasn`t long before the visitors took the lead, Leroy Lita`s low cross into the middle picked out McDonald and his low shot with the outside of his boot found the bottom corner.
Rovers were struggling to find a clear sight of goal and Stock and Hayter both hit long distance shots wide of the target.
James Hayter equalised for Rovers half way through the half with a strong header. Billy Sharp did well down the right and his ball into the middle found Hayter, who powered his header into the bottom corner of the net.
The rest of first half failed to produce any clear-cut chances for either side and they went in all square at the break.
Rovers started the second half brightly and both Hayter and Stock had good chances to put Rovers ahead.
Joseph Mills came off the bench just past the hour for Rovers for his first appearance for over a month and he came close to putting the home side ahead after seeing a shot saved by Steele and then following up to shoot wide.
Middlesbrough were also creating chances at the other end, substitute Kink having a strong shot saved by Sullivan.
Fellow substitute Kris Boyd missed a great chance to put the visitors ahead inside the final ten minutes when he fired high over the bar from inside the six-yard area.
Rovers searched for a winner going into stoppage time and Dean Shiels saw an effort tipped over the bar.
In the fourth minute of time added on Rovers claimed all three points thanks to Brian Stock.
Middlesbrough failed to clear a corner and Stock`s tame shot from the edge of the area found it`s way through a number of players before squirming through Steele in the Boro goal.
Boro only had time to restart the game before Carl Boyeson blew the final whistle.
A good three points that moves Rovers up seven places into ninth place prior to Saturday`s games.
Sullivan, Martis (Webster 85), Hird, Lockwood, Souza (Mills 65), Coppinger (Shiels 88), Stock, Wilson, Hayter, Sharp, Oster
Subs not used
G. Woods, Healy, Fairhurst, Clark
Steele, Hoyte, Wheater, Bates, Bennett, O`Neill, Arca (Kink 78), Thompson, Emnes, Lita (Boyd 68), McDonald (Robson 61)
Subs not used
Coyne, Tavares, Hines, McMahon,
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