HITTING the net has been a challenge for Rovers in recent weeks but they managed to do so three times in a thrilling second-half comeback against Derby at Ewood Park.

The visitors – who are fighting for their lives in the relegation battle after being docked 21 points earlier this season - took the lead through Ravel Morrison’s strike from close range.

Tony Mowbray’s men were frustrated in the first half and it seemed like their recent struggles were set to continue.

But Bradley Dack – making his second appearance after a year out with a second ACL injury - inspired a brilliant second-half comeback following his introduction at the break.

Scott Wharton kicked things off with a bullet header before Tyrhys Dolan put Rovers in front after a well-worked short corner.

And Sam Gallagher sealed the win in stoppage time, heading home from Ryan Giles’ cross at the far post.

Mowbray opted to make two changes from the side that was beaten by Bristol City over the weekend, with Tyrhys Dolan and Bradley Johnson returning to the side in place of Gallagher and John Buckley.

Former Rovers winger Tom Lawrence wore the captain’s armband for the visitors, while Colin Kazim-Richards was named on the bench.

Rovers started brightly and the first chance fell to Reda Khadra, whose effort from distance was fairly straightforward for Ryan Allsop to deal with.

Morrison then dragged an effort well wide of the post at the other end after some good work by Lawrence.

Derby goalkeeper Ryan Allsop’s scuffed clearance then fell to Joe Rothwell, whose ambition from the halfway line bounced wide.

Allsop looked nervy in the early stages, needing two attempts to deal with Khadra’s cross moments later.

The Brighton loanee then glided past a couple of defenders after a brilliant run on the left flank, but he was unable to get a cross away at the end of it.

Bradley Johnson appeared to be playing as a false nine in the opening stages but he dropped deeper as the half went on, with Rothwell joining the attack more frequently.

Lawrence then dragged an effort wide of the near post from the edge of the box after Rovers had given the ball away cheaply in their own half.

Midway through the first half, Dolan managed to get one-v-one at the last defender but he lost his footing as he drove towards goal.

The visitors then went in front when Malcolm Ebiowei laid off Morrison, who found the bottom corner with a composed finish from close range.

The goal lifted Wayne Rooney’s side, who threatened to double their lead minutes later when Nathan Byrne’s shot took a deflection and almost dropped to Lee Buchanan at the far post.

And Morrison could have had a second of the evening, sending a well-struck volley narrowly wide of the post after Rovers had failed to deal with Lawrence’s floated free kick.

Sections of the home crowd weren’t impressed with what they were seeing and voiced their displeasure to Mowbray.

On the stroke of half time, Rothwell’s corner fell to Jan van Hecke in a great position but the defender was unable to sort his feet out.

Joe Rankin-Costello’s then somehow evaded Dolan and it was starting to luck like it would be one of those nights.

But Mowbray made a couple of chances at the break, with Gallagher and Bradley Dack replacing Rankin-Costello and Bradley Johnson.

The changes lifted the home crowd and Byrne had to make a vital clearance from Dolan’s low cross following a quick break down the right wing early in the second half.

But Rovers managed to get back on level terms when Wharton found a way past Allsop with an emphatic header from Rothwell’s delivery.

And Dolan completed the turnaround with a simple header from close range after getting on the end of Dack’s pinpoint delivery.

Max Bird then managed to play in Morrison but the former West Ham man saw his strike deflected wide.

Rovers looked set to widen their lead following a dangerous counter attack from a Derby corner, but Dolan was unable to find the final pass.

Rooney then made double change of his own, sending on Kazim-Richards and Luke Plange in place of Jason Knight and Ebiowei.

Plange almost made an immediate impact after finding space on the right wing but his whipped cross evaded everyone.

Buchanan was then forced off with an injury, with Festy Ebosele coming on for the final 10 minutes.

Rothwell nearly wrapped up the result late on, curling just wide of the post after showing great skill to beat a couple of defenders.

Kazim-Richards’ return to Ewood Park didn’t go as he would have hoped, with the forward leaving the field on a stretcher.

After a nervy final few minutes, Gallagher sealed the win on the stroke of full time with a deft header from Giles’ delivery.

The result sees Rovers solidify their place in the top six ahead of Saturday’s trip to Reading.

Rovers: Kaminski, Lenihan, Hecke, Wharton, Rankin-Costello (Gallagher), Travis, Rothwell, Johnson (Dack), Pickering, Khadra (Giles), Dolan.

Subs: Pears, Brown, Buckley, Hedges.

Derby: Allsop, Byrne, Davies, Cashin, Buchanan (Ebosele), Thompson, Bird, Ebiowei (Plange), Morrison, Lawrence, Knight (Kazim-Richards).

Subs: Roos, Forsyth, Bielik, Stearman.