Rovers and their fans would now settle for the mid-table obscurity they had feared as their worrying decline continued at pace with home defeat to Bournemouth.

The statistics are alarming, and as the most out of form team in the division, and still four sides below them to play, things could yet get worse as they keep sleepwalking into trouble. The worry is that Rovers might not realise they are until it’s too late.

Just 12 goals in their last 18 games, seven points from the last 42 available and two wins in their previous 13 Ewood Park fixtures are the reasons for the mounting pressure on manager Tony Mowbray.

The lack of urgency, and goal threat, were a real concern, Bournemouth winning the game courtesy of Phil Billing’s strike just before the half hour and a second from Arnaut Dajuma with 15 minutes to play. Like so many before them, they had to do so very little to see off a well-beaten Rovers.

Adam Armstrong was back in the side after missing five of the previous six matches, the striker one of four changes as Ryan Nyambe, Bradley Johnson and Tyrhys Dolan also recalled, but unable to help Rovers fire at the top end of the pitch.

Harvey Elliott, who turned 18 last week, had the game’s first shot, 14 minutes in, but that failed to test Asmir Begovic as he watched it wide of the target.

There was a worrying lack of intent or urgency to Rovers’ play, not helped by the departure of Joe Rothwell to an injury as Lewis Holtby, one of four players to drop out of the side, came on.

Four minutes later, the visitors were ahead. And it so easy from a Rovers perspective, Arnaut Danjuma drifting into the box and although his shot was blocked by Darragh Lenihan, it fell kindly into the path of the unmarked Phil Billing who swept home from 12 yards.

The response? Well, minimal. Elliott did manage a shot on target as a corner reached him on the right edge of the box, Begovic moving away to his right to get two hands to palm it away.

He was also forced into action seconds after the Bournemouth goal, albeit not overstretched, as Holtby flicked a Johnson cross into his path.

With little height in the middle, Johnson seemingly picked to play in a more advanced role to help out on that front, and no pace to their play, it was making Rovers so easy defend against.

Bournemouth led despite showing much by way of imagination or quality to their play, but like so many before them, were happy to sit on the lead they had.

Armstrong curled a 54th minute free kick, from a promising position, over the bar, summing up his fortunes infront of goal, currently on his longest streak of the season without one, stretching six games.

Sam Gallagher was on just 12 minutes into the second half, the experiment of starting Elliott and Dolan together for just a second time this season not paying off.

Little had been done to up the pace of the game, one drifting along and seemingly to a familiar conclusion that we’ve seen far too often this season.

It was down to Rovers to change that, their best chance of the game falling to the man they would have wanted it to, Gallagher’s knockdown finding Armstrong 12 yards out, his shot flashing past the post via a deflection.

That wasn’t the start of a sustained spell of pressure in a game that were it to lack any less momentum would be going backwards.

If Rovers’ hopes of finding one goal looked tough, two looked far beyond their reach, and that was the case with 15 minutes to play. Arnaut Danjuma side-stepped his way into the box and whipped the ball into the corner to give the Cherries a two-goal cushion.

John Buckley’s dipping volley, moments after coming on, was a sight of goal but still the wait for a shot on target in the second half went on, as Rovers shoulders began to sag, and heads bow.

The misery could have been more, a late Danjuma strike, as Rovers became increasingly ragged, was within a whisker of finding the bottom corner.

Their afternoon was summed by the six added minutes, Adam Armstrong denied by Begovic from the penalty spot, after Sam Gallagher was fouled, and then Johnson having a shot cleared off the line by Lloyd Kelly.

By the final whistle, the lasting thought was just what would have been the reaction had fans been allowed inside Ewood, and given the form, how many would have been there to start with?