Match ends, Middlesbrough 3, Preston North End 1.
Lee Tomlin scored twice as Middlesbrough saw off spirited Preston in the Capital One Cup second round.
Tomlin picked himself up after being fouled to curl home a free-kick following an uneventful first half.
Preston's Jordan Hugill nodded in a leveller shortly after, but parity lasted only three minutes before Bradley Fewster bundled in for Boro.
Tom Clarke headed over as Preston went close, but Tomlin's superb solo effort put the game beyond the visitors.
Tomlin was denied a chance to complete his hat-trick when he was replaced by Emmanuel Ledesma.
His replacement almost teed up a fourth for the home side however, finding Fewster with a glorious pass that that the teenage striker could not convert.
Middlesbrough travel to Liverpool in the third round.
Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka told BBC Tees:
"When you finish this kind of game and get into the next round it is important. Now Man United have lost 4-0, it is a difficult competition.
"It is 19 years since the first game at Riverside and this was a good day for us.
"The lads didn't play so well in the first half, and that is normal when you feel like you are better than the other team and you feel a little bit too comfortable on the pitch. The second half was much better."
Preston manager Simon Grayson told BBC Radio Lancashire:
"I thought it was a good team performance. Our workrate was good, our shape and discipline was good, and we were in the game.
"We had some good spells with and without the ball.
"They're a good team with some good quality and we can be proud of what we've done tonight.
"At one stage, we probably had four or five lads who were under 21 and they'll have learned so much from tonight."
- 4AyalaBooked at 43mins
- 24NsueSubstituted forReachat 41'minutes
- 27AdomahBooked at 31minsSubstituted forKikeat 77'minutes
- 8ClaytonBooked at 71mins
- 10TomlinSubstituted forLedesmaat 68'minutes
- 19WelshSubstituted forBrownhillat 64'minutes
- 8KilkennyBooked at 39mins
- 25HugillSubstituted forDaviesat 68'minutes
- 3LairdSubstituted forLittleat 77'minutes
- Mark Haywood
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 3, Preston North End 1.
Attempt missed. Andy Little (Preston North End) right footed shot from very close range is too high.
Attempt saved. Josh Brownhill (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt missed. Andy Little (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.
Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Jack King.
Attempt missed. William Hayhurst (Preston North End) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.
James Husband (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Kevin Davies (Preston North End).
Substitution, Middlesbrough. Kike replaces Albert Adomah.
Substitution, Preston North End. Andy Little replaces Scott Laird.
Foul by Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough).
Ben Davies (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card.
Alan Browne (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough).
Substitution, Middlesbrough. Emmanuel Ledesma replaces Lee Tomlin.
Substitution, Preston North End. Kevin Davies replaces Jordan Hugill.
Goal! Middlesbrough 3, Preston North End 1. Lee Tomlin (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.
Attempt saved. Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top right corner.