Joe Rothwell produced the one moment of quality as Rovers made it 10 Championship games unbeaten with a win at Cardiff City.

Rothwell’s third of the season early in the first half helped Rovers to victory against the Bluebirds who had very few opportunities as Tony Mowbray’s men held out for a seventh clean sheet in eight games.

They had to see out the final 12 minutes with 10 men after Ryan Nyambe was sent off for a second yellow card.

Rovers then had to see out the hosts’ set piece threat, with Thomas Kaminski making a key save from Curtis Nelson, but Rovers were otherwise untroubled thanks to be some manful defending.

The win moves them level on points with Bournemouth who were beaten in the other early kick-off against Bournemouth and means Rovers have now won eight and drawn two of their last 10 matches.

There was only one change from the side that played out a 0-0 draw with Huddersfield in the last league game as Tayo Edun came in for Harry Pickering.

Cardiff brought in new loan signing Cody Drameh while Ryan Wintle, recalled from his loan spell at Blackpool, started in central midfield.

Rovers had settled well but the first effort of the game went the way of the hosts. Unsurprisingly it was from a set piece, a left wing Joe Ralls corner met by Curtis Nelson who couldn’t guide his header on target as it flashed wide.

Loose play from Rovers in the left back area then gave Mark Harris the chance to pick out James Collins with his cross, but that was slightly overhit meaning the unmarked striker couldn’t turn it in at the far post.

Rovers put together a fine move in the 14th minute lead though. Lewis Travis rolled the ball into Reda Khadra whose lay-off freed Joe Rothwell whose break forward was finished off with a fine curling effort that beat Alex Smithies. It started outside the post and had enough bend to find the back of the net and hand Rovers the incentive.

It was otherwise a scrap for Rovers though, unable to find much fluency in their play and were guilty of giving the ball away too easily at times.

Cardiff stepped up their pressure with a succession of set plays, Travis well blocked to block a Will Vaulks volley after Thomas Kaminski punched clear a 26th minute corner.

Perry Ng was off balance when testing Kaminski with a shot from the edge of the box seven minutes before the break, but Rovers were otherwise doing well to restrict the hosts’ threat.

It was becoming a real battle though, with the one moment of quality in the first half proving to be the difference.

There was a chance before the interval, Khadra and Edun involved to tee up John Buckley who opted against taking the ball forward to shoot first time, Smithies well-placed to save.

A theme of giving away the ball, and free-kicks, cheaply continued in the second half but to their credit Rovers were standing up to that particularly yet.

Brereton had two efforts at goal, one a hooked shot from a Buckley cross and then an ambitious strike from the right edge of the box that failed to test Smithies before Rovers made their first change.

Gallagher replaced Khadra who had endured a frustrating afternoon in attack, with Cardiff also making a double change.

The attacker of the Rovers attacker helped add some height to try and repel the Cardiff aerial threat, but they did go close in the 68th minute. Nelson got his head to a set play, Kaminski diving away to his right to palm away the ball as Collins tried to turn it in.

Gallagher was also in the action as the other end, spinning away from one defender before being bundled to the floor by Perry Ng, but the referee waved away the appeals for a penalty.

Yellow cards had been handed out at will by referee Matthew Donohue who showed a second one to Ryan Nyambe for a foul on Ng. It took many by surprise, with Nyambe having received his first for a push on Ng after a foul on Lenihan that earned the Cardiff man a yellow card.

Daniel Ayala was sent on leaving Rovers with just over 10 minutes to try and see out the game with 10 men, with Bradley Johnson soon following him onto the pitch.

There were long throws and corners to defend but Rovers threw bodies in the way to ensure a seventh clean sheet in eight games made it 10 games unbeaten in the league.

Cardiff: Smithies, McGuinness, Flint, Vaulks (Pack, 66), Ralls, Wintle, Nelson, Drameh (Colwill, 78), Collins, Harris (Davies, 66), Ng

Subs: Phillips, Bagan, Morrison, Sang

Rovers: Kaminski, Lenihan, van Hecke, Wharton, Nyambe, Travis (Johnson, 84), Rothwell, Edun, Buckley, Khadra (Gallagher, 65), Brereton (Ayala, 78)

Subs: Pears, Davenport, Rankin-Costello, Butterworth