Ten-man Blackburn Rovers hung on for a point against Plymouth Argyle as John Eustace's wait for a win stretched to seven matches.

In what felt like a must-win match ahead of kick-off, Rovers made the perfect start as Sam Szmodics found the corner of the net from outside the box for his 21st of the league campaign.

That proved to be a flash in the pan though as Plymouth dominated from the 15th minute onwards. Even at 11 vs 11, they missed a hatful of chances.

Ryan Hardie spurned the most clear cut as he pounced on a mistake at the back but steered his finish wide when through. Bali Mumba was also denied twice by Leopold Wahlstedt but Rovers came in leading at the break.

Their task was made much harder in the second half after a red card for Kyle McFadzean on 55 minutes. The centre-back was judged to have brought down Hardie and with Argyle striker in on goal, he was dismissed.

Rovers battled to try and retain their advantage but the pressure told as Morgan Whittaker equalised following a goal-mouth scramble. Argyle desperately tried to find the winner but Rovers dug in to earn an important point.

It was not the vital three that seemed a must before 3pm but Rovers deserve credit for ensuring they didn't lose, a man down for 40 minutes. That said, the performance, even with ten men, again left plenty to be desired.

With goal difference separating Rovers and their opponents ahead of kick-off, there was no doubting the importance of this game. With Plymouth fans similarly worried about relegation, it felt as though whichever set of supporters didn't get the desired result would go into meltdown.

Rovers fans wanted a response and a higher tempo after struggling to break down a rigid Millwall side on Tuesday night.

It took only seven minutes for the crowd to get on their feet as a quick one-two between Ayari and Arnor Sigurdsson created space to feed Szmodics, who found the corner from the edge of the box.

Rovers were more energetic and pressed well but the 15-minute mark saw the game turn on its head. Pymouth got their first sight of goal as Hardie latched on to a long ball which took out the defence but somehow put the shot wide.

That would be the first of a barrage of shots on the Rovers goal for the remainder of the first half. In between, Szmodics raced through and squared to Sigurdsson but his shot came off the outside of the post.

Rovers saw very little of the Plymouth half, let alone the goal, from that point onwards. Argyle worked their way into the game and found plenty of joy getting in-behind the defence.

Mumba was wasteful when picked out in the box, stumbling on the ball and allowing Wahlstedt to race out and smother the ball. The Plymouth wing-back was then denied by the goalkeeper after a stinging drive, with Mikel Miller shooting just wide from the opposite flank after getting into the box.

Rovers managed to get to half-time but were reduced to ten men when McFadzean was sent off for bringing down Hardie, who had once again escaped the defence and was through on goal.

It became a game of attack vs defence from then on. Szmodics stayed high and tried to offer Rovers an outlet but the goal was living a charmed life. Hardie again turned wide from an angle after getting a clear sight of goal.

The pressure eventually paid off for Plymouth though as they levelled through Whittaker. Wahlstedt denied Alife Devine, Szmodics cleared Hardie's rebound off the line but the Pilgrims' top-scorer finished it off at the back post.

Rovers rallied and almost retook the lead when Harry Pickering volleyed at goal but his low shot was saved by Michael Cooper. That would be their last foray of note into Plymouth's half as they batted away pressure at the other end.

Although Plymouth dominated the game, they didn't make Wahlstedt work enough. Whittaker's shot from range which went just wide was the closest they came.

It's another winless match for Rovers, stretching their run to seven, but they did at least avoid taking nothing having played with ten men for 40 minutes.

That said, this does little to alleviate growing concern around Ewood Park about the prospect of relegation with a tough run of fixtures to come.