FOR the 11th time this season Rovers failed to take three points after going in front as they had to settle for a draw in their penultimate game of the Championship campaign.

Top-scorers Rudy Gestede and Jordan Rhodes fired Gary Bowyer’s injury hit side into a two-goal lead.

But Jacob Butterfield reduced the deficit before the first half was out and substitute Joe Lolley, with an equally impressive strike, equalised in the 84th minute to earn the point the Terriers deserved.

Rhodes’ fifth goal in his last three visits to his former club took his tally for the term up to 20.

It is the sixth season running he has reached that milestone and in doing so becomes the first Rovers player since Alan Shearer to score 20 league goals or more in three successive campaigns.

However Rhodes, who arrived at Ewood Park in a club record £8m move from Huddersfield in August 2012, remains one goal behind Gestede after his strike-partner made it 21 for the season and five in his last three matches.

Gestede and Rhodes are the first Rovers players to each net 20 net goals or more in a single campaign since Chris Sutton and Kevin Gallacher in 1997-98.

Their latest efforts, though, proved in vain.

Rovers, without a recognised fit and available centre-back in their squad, did not defend particularly badly.

But there was an air of inevitably about Huddersfield’s spirited comeback.

After an impeccably observed minute’s silence to remember the victims of the Bradford Fire Disaster, 30 years ago, it was the Terriers who started the brighter.

And they would have been ahead inside 45 seconds had it not been for their former goalkeeper Simon Eastwood.

Eastwood, who started his career with Huddersfield, dived to his right to prevent Mark Hudson from heading in Butterfield’s deep corner.

After Markus Olsson was invited to run and shoot, but shoot wide, another Butterfield corner was inadvertently flicked on by Gestede to the back post where Oscar Gobern blazed wastefully over.

It was Eastwood’s goal coming under pressure and in the 22nd minute the recalled Rovers keeper was extremely fortunate to see a Connor Coady cross-shot, which he horribly misjudged, come back off the post.

Miller, who was keeping full debutant Darragh Lenihan and fellow stand-in centre-back Tommy Spurr on their toes, then had a header ruled out for offside before dragging a shot wide.

So, while Rhodes saw a half-chance come and go at the other end, it came against the run of play when Rovers went in front in the 27th minute.

Rhodes was the creator, as he showed strength and quick feet before the ball broke to Gestede who, with the aid of a wicked deflection, turned the ball home from 10 yards.

And one became two in the 31st minute when Craig Conway swung over a corner into the heart of the box where the predatory Rhodes was waiting to head in.

It was the in-form Conway’s 10th assist of the season.

Rovers, though, never make things easy for themselves and in the 39th minute they saw their advantage halved after Spurr was harshly adjudged to have brought down Miller on the far side of the area.

Butterfield did the rest from the resulting free kick, curling the ball brilliantly over the wall and in off the bar.

And the Terriers went within a whisker of levelling the contest before the opening period was out when Gobern fired a long-range volley inches past the upright.

The second half followed a similar pattern.

But it was not until the 67th minute that Eastwood was seriously tested as he reacted smartly to deny Nahki Wells at the second attempt after a storming run out of defence by Lolley.

Rovers, by now playing more and more on the break, then went down the other end and went close, Corry Evans poking the ball through to Rhodes, who skipped past Alex Smithies only to shoot into the side-netting from a difficult angle.

Spurr then headed straight at Smithies from a Conway free kick.

But it was Huddersfield doing most of the pressing and in the 80th minute they had another goal, this time scored by Wells, disallowed for offside.

The Terriers, though, were not to be denied and, six minutes from the end of normal time, Lolley smashed home a 25-yard screamer after Rovers failed to clear their lines.

Gary Bowyer threw on the fit-again Josh King for Lee Williamson.

And within minutes of his arrival King saw a powerfully struck effort superbly saved by Smithies.

The ball broke to Rhodes, who for all the world looked like netting the winner.

But his attempt, from six yards out, was somehow cleared off the line and over the bar by Gobern.

The draw extended Rovers’ unbeaten league run to six games, and their unbeaten away run in all competitions to nine, and means they will finish ninth.

Huddersfield: Smithies, Wilkinson (Lolley 59), Lynch, Hudson, Smith, Scannell, Coady, Gobern, Butterfield, Miller (Vaughan 65), Wells. Subs not used: Murphy, Edgar, Hogg, Wallace, Bunn.

Booked: Hudson.

Goals: Butterfield 39, Lolley 84.

Rovers: Eastwood, Henley, Lenihan, Spurr, Olsson, P Taylor (Cairney 64), Evans, Williamson (King 87), Conway, Gestede, Rhodes. Subs not used: Raya, Dunn, Brown, Marshall, Spearing.

Booked: Lenihan.

Goals: Gestede 27, Rhodes 31.

Referee: Brendan Malone.

Attendance: 17,056.