There was expectation in the rainy East Lancashire air ahead of kick-off, but replaced by frustration at full-time.

In the same way Rovers’ top six credentials wouldn’t be cemented by a third successive September win, nor should they be written off by a second home defeat of the season. But Luton Town becoming the second newly-promoted side to leave Ewood with three points in the space of five games isn't a glowing indictment.

While the August fixture list was rather daunting, including away trips to Fulham and West Brom, September offered hope, but also little room for error should they wish to climb the table.

Finding consistency in such an unpredictable and competitive league is what separates the contenders from the pretenders, and for the second time this season, Rovers missed an opportunity to record a third consecutive win.

Ewood, so long a friend during the League One promotion campaign, became something of a foe in the second half of last season, and finding more goals on home soil is one area to address.

The way they dispatched of Millwall last time out at their headquarters offered hope a corner had been turned, but a sobering home defeat to Luton shows there is still work to do when teams offer little space in which to operate.

Tony Mowbray has been bullish about Rovers’ expectations this season, trying to raise expectation levels.

But this was a rude awakening for those who thought it was simply a case of adding another three points to the tally, and provided an untimely reminder of how Rovers are not yet at a level where they can afford their performance level dip.

Questions remain in attack, with Sam Gallagher failing to build on a more potent performance at Reading, nor was Adam Armstrong able to provide the same level of threat he had seven days earlier.

Lewis Travis, when levelling eight minutes before the break with a fine strike from the edge of the area, became the sixth different scorer this season, but 10 goals in nine league games isn’t the return expected from the quality of player at Rovers’ disposal.

Bradley Dack, with three of those, thought he had a fourth when turning home from close range. He gave the linesman ample time to raise his flag, but Rovers were ready for the kick-off by the time the goal was chalked off following long discussions between referee Gavin Ward and his assistant.

The right decision was reached, though quite why it took such a lengthy process, was baffling.

Dack came to life following the introduction of Danny Graham who has to count himself unfortunate to have started just twice so far. He was one of the few players to test Simon Sluga who was equal to his hooked effort from an Elliott Bennett cross.

That came as Rovers chased a second equaliser having twice being stunned by the visitors.

The first was in the 17th minute as despite a bright start, Rovers trailed to a James Collins header as he ghosted in from the left to nod home an Izzy Brown cross.

Travis’ fine equaliser should have given Rovers a platform to kick on in the second half, and despite starting the half on the front foot, trailed again just before the hour.

Matty Pearson, 10 years in the Rovers Academy, steered a header from a right wing free-kick out of reach of Christian Walton to restore the lead.

From then on, Pearson and Sonny Bradley put their bodies on the line, made to do more than they had in the first half when much of their work came heading balls out of their box.

Graham’s introduction, as well as that of Lewis Holtby, offered Rovers more going forward.

The German should have tested Sluga with a shot cutting in on his left foot in the 62nd minute, while Armstrong suffered the same fate when blazing over having done the hard work making the move in behind and collecting a Williams pass.

Dack thought he had levelled, only for his effort to be chalked off, and from that moment on, despite still 12 minutes to play, plus six additional ones, frustration set in for Rovers with countless misplaced passes and aimless balls forward.

Having managed the closing stages so well at Reading to see out the defeat, the real disappointment here was the lack of threat posed to the Luton goal.

A smattering of boos greeted the final whistle, largely down to the sense of missed opportunity. Mowbray sensed it, as did the players. Though you wouldn’t bet against them rising to the occasion when high-flying Nottingham Forest arrive on Tuesday.