Hanley was officially handed the captain's armband against Blackpool last time out and he chose that moment to grab his first of the season, heading home Rovers' second in a 2-0 home win.
"I think it has been a long time coming but it was nice," said Hanley.
"I had a couple of opportunities so I could have scored more, but it was nice to get a goal and then go and get the three points.
"I think it was probably my most difficult chance that eventually went in, it was a bit lucky that it bounced over the goalie but it was good to see."
Hanley scored four goals last season and the Scottish international now hopes that last weekend's first of the season will allow him to kick on and grab more.
Hanley added: "It isn't something that has bothered me but the Gaffer keeps onto me saying I need to start scoring, so hopefully I'll get more now.
"I'll try and get on the end of as many and get my figures up."
Hanley will lead the side out at the Riverside this Saturday when Rovers take on Middlesbrough. Tickets will be on sale on the day of the game from Middlesbrough, cash only from the away ticket office. Priced at £27 Adults, £17 Seniors and £14 for Under 18s.