Every manager experiences ‘a moment’, a turning of the tide. This could well prove to be Tony Mowbray’s.

It had all the hallmarks, a last minute winner in front of the home fans, snatching an unlikely victory from the jaws of defeat, and coming at a time when the dissenting voices were growing even louder.

The players, to their credit, demonstrated their togetherness and willingness to dig deep for their manager. A post-match huddle coordinated by captain Elliott Bennett was fitting end to a remarkable afternoon. 

One thing Rovers have been able to do during Mowbray’s tenure, for the most part, is dig out a result out at Ewood when they most needed it.

A 1-0 success over Derby in Mowbray’s first home match, three points against Aston Villa to keep their survival hopes alive in April 2017, a comeback win against Peterborough in April 2018 to make almost certain of promotion, midweek victories against Wigan in March and Derby in April during a torrid run of form and then then overcoming Middlesbrough in August to get this season up and running to name but a few.

But this felt different. Despite no shortage of goodwill towards the manager, even after a run of two points from a possible 18, as the wait for a win grew, so too did those questioning him.

Not that the players had got off scot-free, a second half collapse at Preston calling in to question their mentality and leadership as more points slipped through their fingers.

So when Jacob Murphy looked to have stolen the points for Wednesday with six minutes remaining, no shortage of fans voted with their feet and headed for the exits.

Could you really blame them? Not since New Year’s Day had Rovers won at Ewood when the opposition scored, April 2018 was the previous time they had conceded first but still claimed three points, and they hadn’t scored an injury time winner in the league since February 2017.

Those that did leave however, missed the most dramatic of finishes that sparked noise levels and jubilant scenes of celebrations that Ewood has witnessed for quite some time. And all those unwanted stats became a thing of the past. 

Staring a fifth defeat in seven matches, and the likelihood of an outpouring of frustration from the stands at the final whistle, John Buckley emerged as an unlikely hero when thrown on in the 87th minute.

His arrival came armed with a note, the details of which may well never be known, sent the way of Tosin Adarabioyo. Imaginations will run wild of just what it said, but it certainly worked a treat as the Manchester City loanee towered highest to loop a header from Elliott Bennett’s delivery over the stranded Keiren Westwood.

And the Wednesday ‘keeper would be flat on his back as he was wrong-footed by a Buckley shot that sent the 20-year-old tearing towards the Blackburn End in celebration.

It wouldn’t have been Rovers were there not room for even later drama. This time it was Fernando Forestieri’s turn to see a shot deflected, coming back off the post with Walton motionless, but the Rovers ‘keeper, called out by his manager for his role in Preston’s opening goal seven days earlier, came to his side’s rescue by tipping Sam Hutchinson’s follow-up around the post with a stunning stop.

Whether this does indeed transpire to be a turning point or not, this is a moment that has to be savoured for the manager and players who have taken their fair share of criticism of late, but also the supporters who have had their own fair share of suffering.

And for Buckley, who has dedicated more than half of his 20 years to the club, he will have played through in his head countless times what he thought his first senior goal would have looked like. And while it would likely have been of better quality, he couldn’t have picked a more opportune moment.

Adarabioyo must take a notable mention, the Manchester City loanee standing tall when Rovers required a leader, but adding to a match-winner from one Academy graduate, the battling displays of two more, Lewis Travis and Ryan Nyambe, showed the continued value of Rovers’ youth investment.

The opening 45 minutes was a war of attrition, Wednesday wasting their nine corners, with Rovers’ best chance seeing Sam Gallagher’s header tipped over by Westwood, while Walton saved well from Kadeem Harris.

The second half was a little more open. Travis was denied by a point-blank save by Westwood, who was also equal to a curling Adam Armstrong shot and Joe Rothwell header as Rovers tried to turn up the heat in search of an opening goal.

Walton saved from Harris again, but was beaten to the ball by Fletcher in the lead up to what looked to be the winner as Murphy headed home.

But a huge amount of heart and bottle, tied in with a togetherness that Mowbray has played a major part in building, made for a quite remarkable finish. But this now has to be the start.