Rovers’ win over Barnsley put them on course for European qualification, on this day in 1998, but left goalkeeper Tim Flowers ‘very concerned’ about his prospects of sealing a place in England’s World Cup squad.

Flowers’ hopes hung in the balance, and dependent on the results of a hospital scan of a troublesome shoulder injury, following a 2-1 win over Barnsley.

Rovers’ hard-earned victory put them back among the frontrunners for UEFA Cup qualification but was marred by the sight of a disconsolate Flowers having to be substituted after an awkward fall which seriously aggravated the problem.

Surgery was not dismissed as Flowers headed for hospital, the keeper blaming wear and tear as much as anything else for the injury which had plagued him for some time, and forced him off in his 200th senior game.

“To lose an England goalkeeper is not the ideal thing,” said manager Roy Hodgson.

“Let’s hope the situation is not as bad as we think it is.

“The scan might show it’s not too bad and Flowers might be out there against Manchester United. But it’s not looking too good. We have to get it put right, because we can’t nurse him from one game to the next.”

Hodgson found positive factors in the performance and said the most important thing was simply to win.

“We had to work unbelievably hard for victory. But that’s also part of football,” he said.

“At times at Ewood Park this year we have played teams off the field, had almost unlimited possession and seemed to cut through them with ease.

“But you can’t always do that. You don’t win championships or get into UEFA that way. You get into UEFA sometimes by making sure when you come up against a very competent, strong, fit and hard-working Barnsley that you grind out a result.

“They could be the three points which mean you are in UEFA and some other team isn’t. So I am proud of my team.

“March was an awful month and we needed this victory. It was good news for me that the players had the courage and determination to come back.”

Hodgson also saluted Kevin Gallacher’s “magnificent goal”, but conceded it was probably Georgi Hristov’s equaliser which proved the catalyst for the revival and breathed new life into the challenge for Europe.

Gallacher’s late finish brought a badly-needed win following a winless March.

The presence of Gallacher and Damien Duff on the bench raised a few eyebrows but Hodgson stressed that the illness and injury problems had been a factor in that.

Both, however, made a difference when they were introduced – Gallacher crucially.

Yet his replacement Martin Dahlin had started with a bang, scoring a dazzling goal in the ninth minute. A ball from Jason Wilcox found the Swede on the edge of the penalty area. He pulled away from two men, played a one-two with Chris Sutton and dinked a lovely return pass over the diving keeper to strike the ball into an empty net.

It was finishing of the highest quality, but the rest of the half lacked much of that from Rovers.

 Barnsley produced a clinical finish to level in the 68th minute.

Nicky Eaden’s ball forward found Hristov clear and he produced a brilliant right-foot strike to leave Alan Fettis without a chance.

The game, Europe, relegation, it was all back in the melting pot but at least Rovers showed tremendous spirit to rally against a side who were a far tougher proposition than in their early Premiership days.

It seemed a winner would prove frustratingly elusive but the breakthrough came from some excellent work and a bit of luck. Sutton and Jeff Kenna did really well in the build-up and, when the full back’s fine ball through a pack of bodies was deflected to Gallacher, the Scot struck home a stunning shot.