Former Rovers youngster Matty Pearson scored on his first return to Ewood Park to inflict a second home defeat of the season on Tony Mowbray’s side.

Luton followed Charlton in becoming the second newly-promoted side to win at Rovers’ headquarters as Pearson nodded in the winner three minutes before the hour.

Lewis Travis had levelled for Rovers in the 37th minute after James Collins put the Hatters ahead 17 minutes in.

Rovers had their chances in the second half, and thought they had levelled 12 minutes from the end as Bradley Dack nodded in from close range. Although the linesman didn’t flag initially, after consultation between the officials, the right decision was reached.

It meant a disappointing end to a month that had started with back-to-back victories ahead of Tuesdays’ visit of high-flying Nottingham Forest.

Bradley Johnson returned in place of Corry Evans as the one Rovers change, and it was a bright start from Tony Mowbray’s men in the early stages.

Playing on the front foot, they were exploiting the spaces down the flanks, though a failure to find the target with the delivery was down to a combination of good Luton defending, and poor quality in to the box.

Adam Armstrong scored early in the win at Reading seven days earlier and tried his luck as Rovers worked a short corner, but Matty Pearson was well clear to head clear his effort.

Luton, on the back of three successive defeats, were camped in their half in the opening moments but were growing in to the game, with Izzy Brown having an increasing impact in the game. He freed Harry Cornick whose near-post effort was saved at the near-post by Christian Walton.

The visitors would take something of a shock lead, stunning those inside Ewood Park, in the 16th minute, with Brown at the heart of it, getting free of Travis before putting the ball on a plate for Collins to head home.

That gave the Hatter visible confidence, with both the Rovers players and fans growing frustrated.

Gaps were appearing for the likes of Brown and Collins to exploit, with Derrick Williams needing to be well placed to clear a Dan Potts cross as Luton opened up a four-on-four counter-attacking opportunity.

When Rovers upped the tempo though, they did look a threat, none moreso than the pace of Adam Armstrong down the left which teed up Bradley Johnson for a shot which he dragged wide in the 34th minute.

The equaliser wasn’t long in the waiting however, and was an excellent strike from Travis to level things up, firing across Simon Sluga from the right edge of the box after being teed up by Elliott Bennett on his 150th appearance  for the club.

Rovers were on the front foot at the start of the half, but it was Luton who had the earliest opportunity. It came from a Rovers attack, with Luton breaking through Brown who teed up Cornick and his shot was parried behind by Walton at the near post.

Then another shock lead arrived for the visitors in the 57th minute as former Rover Pearson rose highest to plant a low header from a right wing free kick beyond Walton.

Rovers were readying Danny Graham at that point and he was joined on the hour by Lewis Holtby, for his home debut.

They had only just made it on to the pitch when Downing whipped a free kick over the wall and narrowly wide of the near post.

It was the beginning of a long period of Rovers pressure as they pressed for a second equaliser. Bennett’s cross was hooked goalwards by Graham but too close to Sluga who saved.

For all their pressure, Rovers weren’t testing Sluga enough as Holtby’s drive found the side netting from the right edge of the box, before Armstrong fired over when played clean through by Williams.

It was the same story as an under pressure Williams headed wide a Downing corner.

Luton were still having a threat on the counter though as Walton didn’t look convincing when palming away a dipping shot from sub Callum McManaman with 16 minutes to play.

So often has the Graham and Dack combination bailed out Rovers, but the latter was off balance when firing wide from a knockdown from the striker.

Luton were defending for their lives, throwing bodies in front of shots, none better than to deny Graham when played in by Holtby,

Rovers thought their pressure had brought them an equaliser however, with 12 minutes to play. Dack nodded in from close range as Williams headed across goal. He looked offside, even giving the linesman a long stare before celebrating, but no flag arrived. However, as Luton protested, referee Gavin Ward discussed the decision with his assistant and the goal was chalked off.

Six added minutes gave the home fans hope, but Rovers wasted the ball too often to threaten a late equaliser. 

Rovers: Walton, Bennett (Samuel, 80), Lenihan, Williams, Cunningham, Travis, Johnson (Holtby, 60), Downing, Dack, Armstrong, Gallagher (Graham, 60)

Subs: Leutwiler, Adarabioyo, Bell, Buckley

Luton: Sluga, Potts, Tunnicliffe, Bradley, Pearson, Cornick (Jones, 85), Mpanzu, Collins, Brown (McManaman, 70), Bree, Butterfield (Berry, 82)

Subs: Shea, Lee, Bolton, Lua Lua