For Rovers, the 2-2 draw at Cardiff City was another late rescue act courtesy of an Adam Armstrong goal.

Armstrong’s goal saw Rovers avoid falling to a 10th defeat in their last 15 fixtures, and also kept up a good record in the closing stages of their matches.

They have scored more times (19) than anyone in the division from the 76th minute onwards, while only three sides have conceded fewer than their seven. It is the one area of their game that has vastly improved during their three years back in the Championship.

Armstrong scored late again, his eighth goal in the final 15 minutes of matches this season. Eight substitutes have also been on target for Rovers in that time, another aspect of their game which has improved, but equally the increased to five permitted subs has to be factored in.

What those 19 goals scored late in games has done is brought Rovers an extra 12 points. On the flip side, the seven goals they have shipped in the closing stages has seen them lose five points.

Their next most prolific 15 minute segment is that leading up to half time when they have managed eight.

So why have Rovers become more potent in the final stages of matches? Their 19 this season is already more than the 11 they managed last term, and 16 in 2018/19.

The Armstrong factor is clearly one. He is able to carry his pace right to the final minute, punishing tired defences with breakaway goals against Wycombe Wanderers, Derby County and Queens’s Park Rangers. They have also come up against 10 men on a number of occasions, late goals against Wycombe, Coventry City and Preston North End making the most of that advantage.

Also needing to be factored in is that Rovers have been involved in so many tight games this season. They have drawn 11, while five of their 12 victories have come via a one-goal margin.

With 14 one-goal defeats as well, there is often something riding on the closing stages of Rovers matches, particularly since those early season thumpings.

Instinctive Armstrong finishes against Millwall, Rotherham United, and Luton Town, as well as at Cardiff, earning Rovers seven points in the process, all came in the final five minutes of games.

Rovers’ home form has been a particular disappointment in 2021, with just one win so far, that being courtesy of Armstrong’s late winner against Luton, one which left Hatters boss Nathan Jones ‘physically sick’, while two more of their six home wins were courtesy of injury-time winners.

As well as Armstrong, Sam Gallagher has also been a factor late in games.

All of his six goals have come in the 72nd minute later, five of them as a substitute, and he has proven to be a useful weapon for Rovers off the bench, having done similar at the back end of last season against Reading and Luton Town.

While Rovers have improved late in games, their statistics early on have dropped dramatically.

They have scored just 13 goals scored in the opening 30 minutes of matches, compared with the 15 they managed in the opening 15 minutes last season, the most in the division.

Of their 52 goals scored, 31 have come in the second half, while their 66 last season were spread equally 33 each. However, in 2018/19, after the break they scored 42 times, compared to only 22 in the opening period.

So the kings of the early goal last season have become last-gasp Rovers a year on.