Blackburn Rovers fell to a sixth-successive Championship defeat away from home as a late Andre Dozzell goal earned Birmingham City a 1-0 win.

John Eustace's return to St Andrew's proved an unhappy one as he fell to defeat in his first match as Rovers head coach.

It was hardly an undeserved one either with Birmingham on top for most of the encounter. They created the best opportunities and were wasteful in front of goal, which contributed to the match remaining score-less until the final 15 minutes.

Marc Roberts had hit the post and headed over whilst namesake Tyler Roberts missed a glorious first-half chance after steering wide of Aynsley Pears' post when through on goal.

The striker also blazed over after an error from the Rovers goalkeeper. Whilst the visitors defended their box ok, their biggest problems was a lack of care and quality on the ball.

Rovers were often criticised for being too possession-heavy under Jon Dahl Tomasson but it was an inability to keep the ball and sustain attacks which allowed Birmingham to pen them back.

In the end, they left St Andrews with nothing for their hard work despite a creating glorious opportunity for Semir Telalovic, who could only hit the goalkeeper with a header from close range, with the last kick of the match.

Eustace had been keen to avoid stoking the pre-match narrative at his unveiling on Monday night but the writers had already drafted their headlines ahead of kick-off.

Whilst the new Rovers head coach insisted this was no 'revenge mission', victory at St Andrew's, 127 days after his controversial dismissal, would taste sweet, even if he'd never let on.

Whilst the St Andrew's factor may have attracted the attention of the nationals, this was an incredibly important match for both teams on the pitch.

Rovers had bought themselves some breathing room with a timely victory over Stoke City, their first in eight matches, but Birmingham were beaten 2-0 by Sheffield Wednesday, dragging them closer to those in the bottom three.

Tony Mowbray, serving a touchline ban against his old team, insisted that his side were not in a relegation battle but the Championship table suggests otherwise. For both teams, the match was vitally important with the added incentive of beating a former club.

Rovers arrived at St Andrew's having lost their last five Championship away matches. The last time a run of that nature stretched to six was in 2013. Birmingham, ironically, hadn't won in their last five home matches either.

Eustace had little reason to tinker and named an unchanged starting XI and substitutes bench. That meant a second start in quick succession for Kyle McFadzean and Ryan Hedges.

It was once again the 3-4-3 shape that Rovers adopted against the Potters to great effect. Tyrhys Dolan and Sam Szmodics were tasked with providing support to Sam Gallagher.

Birmingham saw most of the ball in the early stages, though most of the games was played in their half as Rovers pressed and made it difficult for the hosts to move through the thirds.

When they did find a way through, Aynsley Pears was there to deny the hosts, comfortably keeping out Paik Seung-Ho's free-kick from distance.

That early sighter encouraged Mowbray's men on to Rovers and they had the best chance of the game by far. Roberts was slipped through on goal and you expected the net to bulge. Somehow, from around 12 yards, the former Leeds United man turned his effort wide, much to the relief of the Rovers defence.

Birmingham continued to probe and the recalled Jay Stansfield leathered a shot wide from 20 yards after Koji Miyoshi had escaped the defence and got in-behind. 

The talented Japanese winger then sent in a delicious ball from the right that was flicked on by Roberts, the centre-back, and off the outside of the post. 

Rovers were struggling to sustain attacks. They moved the ball ok in their own defensive third and in midfield but needed more care on the ball in the final third. The closest they came was a rising shot from Szmodics from the edge of the box.

To add to their woes, Joe Rankin-Costello was forced off after failing to shake off an ankle knock earlier in the half. The midfielder is only just back from a long-term hamstring lay-off and Rovers will hope it's nothing too concerning.

It took only a few minutes of the second half for Rovers to offer more of a goal threat. Szmodics got behind the Birmingham back line and his early shot tested John Ruddy at his near post.

The hosts responded with two huge chances of their own. Again it was the two Roberts who let Rovers off the hook. The defender headed over after rising highest from a wide free-kick before the attacker blazed over inside the box after a mistake from Pears with the ball at his feet.

Birmingham remained the team in the ascendency and were pinning Rovers back. That left space on the counter-attack but there wasn't enough quality to really take advantage of good moments in transition.

The hosts continued to probe and create decent openings. Substitute Siriki Dembele, who netted twice against Rovers in the reverse fixture, was called from the bench but blasted over from 15 yards when well placed.

The forward then looked set to score after Ben Chrisene failed to deal with a cross from the right but he steered it wide under pressure from Jake Garrett.

In the end, that pressure told with 13 minutes of normal time remaining. A goal-mouth scramble eventually saw the ball break to Dozzell and he converted from close range.

Rovers could hardly argue it was undeserved and although they defended their 18-yard box manfully, had been second-best for most of the match.

Eustace called on his attacking options and they almost equalised with the last kick of the game as Telalovic headed at goal but it was remarkably kept out by Ruddy to preserve the points.

It was not a performance that lacked endeavour from Rovers, but quality, on the ball especially. Plenty for the head coach to review ahead of his first Lancashire derby against Preston North End.