Rovers suffered a fourth consecutive away defeat after a 2-1 defeat at Leeds United.

A tight game was competitive throughout, but lacking clear-cut chances for both chances, and decided by a Patrick Bamford penalty and Jack Harrison first half strike.

Derrick Williams handed Rovers a lifeline five minutes before the break, with his third of the season, but struggled to test Kiko Casilla in the Leeds goal. 

Rovers named an unchanged side for the first time this season, but shifted Lewis Holtby in to central midfield.

Leeds, boasting the second highest possession stats in the division, were always expected to enjoy plenty of the ball, but the opening stages were somewhat subdued.

Rovers were staying compact and organised in their work, with Holtby dictating things from the middle of the park.

The game waited 12 minutes for its first shot, Stuart Dallas curling well wide, with Rovers able to negotiate the opening quarter relatively comfortably.

At the other end they were trying to use the strength of Sam Gallagher, but the striker was finding it tough up against two markers.

Dallas was to waste a good opening for the hosts in the 24th minute, taking advantage of space to run in to, but ballooned his shot over the bar when at the very least he should have tested Christian Walton.

For all their good work in the opening half an hour however, Rovers would hand the hosts a gift of a chance to open the scoring.
Tosin Adarabioyo looked to have the situation covered as Luke Ayling’s heavy touch was in the defender’s favour, but the Manchester City loanee missed his kick and caught the full back.

Referee Gavin Ward was quick to point to the spot from which Patrick Bamford converted.

That gave the home crowd, and players, a lift and it was almost two as Ayling crossed for Helder Costa who couldn’t apply the necessary finish on the stretch.

It wasn’t long before the second goal arrived however, this one again all too simple from a Rovers point of view. A ball over the top found Bamford who fed Jack Harrison who rolled the ball beyond Walton, via the post.

From 2-0 down it looked a long way back for a Rovers side still waiting for their first shot at goal.

At Ewood last September, when Rovers emerged victorious, both goals came from set plays, and it was from that avenue they reduced the arrears.

Stewart Downing’s corner was powered home by the head of Derrick Williams for his third of the season five minutes before the break.

Rovers saw it to the break one behind as both Dallas and Ben White thumped long distance shots well over the bar.

Both sides emerged from the dressing rooms unchanged, with a similar pattern of Rovers being worked hard out of possession and looking to break wherever possible.

It was a Leeds break that brought the half’s first chance though. Costa hurdled three Rovers challenges on halfway and played in wing partner Harrison who fizzed a shot just over the top.

Mowbray turned to his bench on the hour, sending on Graham for the previously anonymous Armstrong.

While Rovers’ threat remained from set plays, they remained in the game courtesy of a fine block from a see of bodies in blue to stop Harrison’s goalbound shot at the end of another excellent Costa break and right wing cross.

John Buckley and Corry Evans’ were Rovers’ final two changes in a game that remained watchable, but without many clear-cut chances.

Dack had been involved in a real tussle with Phillips all game, but did manage to free himself of the shackles to break in to the box. His shot was blocked but fell kindly to Williams who sliced his volley wide.

In a game where goalmouth action was at a premium, that would have to go down as a chance.

With the home crowd become a little frustrating with their side’s sloppiness, Rovers couldn’t make the most of their territory.

And they were almost caught on the break in the 82nd minute as Roberts teed up Harrison who lashed a shot across Walton but wide of the far post.

Leeds were the ones threatening the game’s fourth goal as Walton tipped a Roberts shot behind.

Rovers were waiting for a chance to drop from a set play, but the ball wouldn’t sit for them with three minutes to play as Downing free kick bounced across the hosts’ box.

But the four added minutes passed without incident as Rovers headed in to the international break on the back of a defeat. 

Leeds: Casilla, Ayling, White, Cooper (Berardi, 72), Dallas, Klich, Phillips, Costa (Hernandez, 81), Roberts, Harrison (Davis, 90), Bamford

Subs: Meslier, Douglas, Gotts, Clarke

Rovers: Walton, Bennett, Nyambe, Adarabioyo, Williams, Travis, Downing, Armstrong (Graham, 60), Dack, Holtby (Evans, 69), Gallagher (Buckley, 69)

Subs: Leutwiler, Bell, Johnson, Rothwell