(Pisano, 79)

Rovers suffered just a third home league defeat of the season as Bristol City stretched their winning run to eight games.

Eric Pisano came off the bench to score the only goal of what was a tight game at Ewood Park, 11 minutes from time.

Neither goal had been overly stretched, with Bradley Dack going closest for Rovers, but they struggled to muster any sort of response, or late charge, after falling behind.

Rovers made three changes from the defeat at Brentford, two enforced as Darragh Lenihan and Corry Evans missed out through injury. Derrick Williams replaced Amari’i Bell at left back, while Charlie Mulgrew and Richie Smallwood were recalled.

Adam Armstrong was bidding to continue his impressive run of form, and had his first sight of goal just three minutes in after good work by Elliott Bennett, only to flash his shot wide.

Bristol City’s 4-1-4-1 formation was allowing them to counter attack quickly, with the lively Callum O’Dowda causing real problems with his runs from deep.

But Rovers were having the early attempts at goal, as Bradley Dack fizzed an effort across goal, with the sliding Harrison Reed unable to turn it golawards with any real pace.

For all their promising positions, the visitors had to wait until 28 minutes for their first shot of the match, Andreas Weimann trying his luck from distance, with David Raya saving away to his left, though the effort did look to be drifting wide.

With Dack quiet, Rovers’ main attacking threat was coming through Armstrong, and he was at his best just after the half hour mark, cutting in from the left to sting the palms of Frankie Fielding from 20 yards.

Raya made easier work of a Josh Brownhill free kick moments later, from one of several hotly contested decisions in the first half.

Famara Diedhiou was ploughing a lone furrow for the visitors, but had a big chance 10 minutes from the break. A right wing corner was kept alive by the visitors, with the ball falling for the striker whose thumping shot was terrifically blocked by Elliott Bennett, before Marlon Pack fired wide from the follow-up.

He would have the best chance of the first half just before the break, finding himself unmarked six yards out to meet a left wing corner, but unable to keep it down, Raya was relieved to watch it over the top.

Before that, only good pressure from the retreating Bennett and Jack Rodwell saw O’Dowda able to make the most of an opening as he raced on to a ball over the top from Brownhill.

Dack had been quiet in the first half, but found space just seconds in to the second half to burst down the right. He waited for the run of Armstrong, but his cross to the far post was out of reach, even for the speedy wide man.

There was a better tempo to Rovers’ play, as first Travis, and then Reed, fizzed ball across the visitors’ six yard line, before Dack’s shot from a Travis pull-back was well blocked by Pack.

Rodwell then thundered an effort from all of 30 yards, before Diedhiou threatened again for the visitors. Rovers were caught out down their right, with Pack crossing for the striker whose header in to the ground was tipped over by Raya.

Rovers were then fortunate not to see Lewis Travis sent off, as already on a yellow card, he flew in to a tackle and didn’t win the ball, and while a free kick was awarded, the referee kept his cards in his pocket. Mowbray quickly chose to substitute Travis, sending on Ryan Nyambe as Reed moved in to central midfield as Bennett switched to the right wing.

The full back was quickly in to the action, winning Rovers a free kick from which Williams headed over at the far post from an outswinging Mulgrew delivery.

Dack’s chance came midway through the second half as he expertly controlled an Armstrong cross, before beating his man, but off balance, couldn’t get enough power to his shot as Fielding saved at his  near post.

Having made two attacking changes, including the introduction of Kasey Palmer, it was their defender Eros Pisano whose impact would be the most telling. O’Dowda whipped in a dangerous corner with 11 minutes to play, as it made its way to the far post where the full back was able to turn home.

The Rovers response almost came in the first of four added minutes, but after being found by Rothwell, Nuttall's touch took him away from goal when in on goal.

Rovers: Raya, Bennett, Rodwell, Mulgrew, Williams, Smallwood (Nuttall, 81), Travis (Nyambe, 58), Armstrong, Dack (Rothwell, 73), Reed, Graham

Subs: Leutwiler, Bell, Conway, Brereton

Bristol City: Fielding, Da Silva, Webster, Wright (Pisano, 63), Kalas, Brownhill, Pack, O’Dowda, Paterson (Taylor, 72), Weimann (Palmer, 72), Diedhiou

Subs: O’Leary, Kelly, Semenyo, Eliasson