SAM Gallagher’s seventh goal of the season was not enough to earn Rovers three points as they once again surrendered a winning position.

A week after being pegged back by Wolves, they took the lead at Villa Park only for Jonathan  Kodjia’s deadly double to condemn them to a ninth defeat of the campaign.

Gallagher headed home Charlie Mulgrew’s cross in the 54th minute, but Kodjia pulled his side level from the penalty spot and then raced clear to continue Villa boss Steve Bruce’s unbeaten run since taking charge.

Owen Coyle named an unchanged side from last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Wolves, which meant Mulgrew continued to fill in at left-back for the injured Derrick Williams.

Danny Graham returned the bench following injury, replacing fellow striker Anthony Stokes, while Jack Byrne came in for Stephen Hendrie.

Villa started with great intent and Jack Grealish, back in the side after suspension, was the spark.

The young midfielder intercepted inside the Rovers half and fed Ross McCormack, whose pass to Kodjia was cut out by Jason Lowe.

From the resulting corner Gary Gardner found himself in space inside the box but scuffed his shot well wide.

Lowe had a lucky escape when he halted his run as Jordan Amavi ran down the touchline, the Rovers skipper believing the ball had gone out of play.

The referee disagreed and the Villa man strode on but his cross was poor with McCormack and Kodjia both waiting in the middle.

Grealish showed his skills with a lovely outside of the foot pass that almost played in the pacy Kodjia, with Lowe doing well to intercept.

Then Rovers had their first sight of the Villa goal when Darragh Lenihan headed over from Craig Conway’s corner.

Two minutes later they went close when Gallagher towered above the Villa defence and got a great connection on Corry Evans’ cross but Pierluigi Gollini somehow got a hand to it.

Buoyed by their success, Coyle’s men pressed forward. Evans’ through-ball to Gallagher was just cut out by Nathan Baker’s sliding block.

But Villa weren’t without their threat and Kodjia stung Jason Steele’s palms with a fierce drive.

Baker was struggling to handle Gallagher’s physical presence and hauled the Rovers strike down on the edge of the box, earning himself a yellow card.

Ben Marshall tested Gollini with the set-piece as the Italian was forced to tip his curling effort over the bar.

Marvin Emnes’ afternoon came to an end on the half hour as he limped off, replaced by Graham.

But the change didn’t put the visitors off their stride and Lowe saw a shot blocked by Gardner after good work down the right by Gallagher.

Then Villa had the best chance of the half. Albert Adomah fired in a corner from the left which found Kodjia unmarked by the penalty spot, but he somehow lashed his volley over the bar.

Greer sent a snapshot wide of the target as the action swung from end to end, with McCormack then heading straight at Steele as he raided in at the far post.

It took Rovers nine minutes after restart to get their noses in front, and it was that man Gallagher who got it.

Conway couldn’t get his cross in from near the corner flag, so he laid it back for Mulgrew to curl a delightful ball in and Gallagher buried his header.

But just as Blackburn sensed an upset was on the cards, Villa stormed back.

Grealish had been probing since the start of the half and he enticed Greer into a poor tackle that left the referee with no choice but to award a penalty.

Kodjia slammed home from the spot.

Marshall managed a shot on target before Steele stopped a long-range drive from Gardner.

Kodjia’s second came from a move launched by Villa substitute Gabby Agbonlahor, whose first touch after coming on was a neat flick inside to Mile Jedinak.

The big Australian had spotted Kodjia’s run and he picked him out with a pass inside Lowe that the wide man ran onto and coolly slotted underneath Steele.

Villa had chances to increase their lead when Greer almost headed into his own net from a free-kick.

But they were fairly comfortable at the other end as Rovers failed to mount a late charge and once again failed to pick up points on the road and remain in big bother.