The former Dundee United and Celtic star hit an unstoppable 30-yard shot from a tight angle in the 87th minute at The Riverside, giving goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi no chance. The victory puts Boro level with second-placed West Ham on 44 points, just three behind Southampton.
Former Hibs defender David Murphy was also on target as Birmingham City came from behind to grab a deserved 1-1 draw with West Ham. He had earlier been foiled when Robert Green saved his goalbound free kick, but struck in the 81st minute, powering home a header from a cross by ex-Rangers winger Chris Burke, to cancel out Carlton Cole’s fourth-minute opener.
A penalty by Paul Gallagher also rescued a point for Leicester in their 1-1 home draw with Ipswich. The former Blackburn Rovers man converted the 69th minute spot-kick awarded for handball against Jason Scotland.
Manager Darren Ferguson praised George Boyd after his superb winner for Peterborough against Nottingham Forest, where he spent he had spent three months on loan last year.
The Scotland B international clipped a brilliant shot over goalkeeper Lee Camp into the far corner.
“Boydy is capable of that, but Forest didn’t see it when her was here on loan. But we know the ability he has and it was a superb effort.”
Former Dundee United star Prince Buaben struck a 62nd minute opener for Watford, who drew 1-1 at home to Cardiff.