Blackburn Rovers' wait for a win under John Eustace stretched to nine Championship games after a narrow 1-0 defeat to Ipswich Town.

Conor Chaplin's early strike proved decisive at Ewood Park as Rovers were unable to convert their second-half chances to earn a point against the promotion-chasing visitors.

Rovers were behind from the 10th minute after a mistake from Aynsley Pears, who should have saved Chaplin's effort inside the box but it squirmed past him.

Eustace's side struggled to create many chances in the first half but did have a goal controversially ruled out. Joe Rankin-Costello's strike was chalked off after Sam Szmodics was judged to have blocked the eyeline of the Ipswich goalkeeper.

Rovers improved after half-time and posed a far greater threat to Ipswich's lead. Szmodics went close twice, forcing a tip-over from Vaclav Hladky and then again after the Ipswich goalkeeper had been robbed of possession but he recovered to make the save.

They also had a second goal disallowed when Hladky was ruled to have been fouled after dropping a cross at the feet of Andrew Moran, who smashed the ball into the net.

Eustace will be pleased with the second-half performance, with Rovers restricting Ipswich to very little and they did create some big chances. On another day, more clinical finishing and more luck with the officiating would've seen them take something.

But as the games tick down, Rovers don't have time for hard-luck stories. They will need a response at Sunderland on Easter Monday.

Fortunately, the landscape in the Championship's scrap for survival looked at one stage like it would change significantly but Rovers ended up retaining their three-point gap above the bottom three.

Big wins for Queens Park Rangers and Stoke City catapulted them above Rovers though, with Eustace's side dropping from 17th to 19th ahead of kick-off at Ewood Park.

The Rovers head coach was forced to shuffle his pack more than he'd have perhaps liked after an encouraging display at Middlesbrough. All three of his changes were enforced, with John Buckley missing out after being described as 'touch and go' before kick-off.

Arnor Sigurdsson picked up a season-ending injury on international duty whilst illness ruled out Sam Gallagher too.

That meant an immediate start for Rankin-Costello in midfield after six weeks out with a knee injury. Tyrhys Dolan and Ben Chrisene were also recalled to take up their positions in the attack.

Ipswich knew they could go top with victory, at least for a few hours, after Leicester City's slip-up at lunchtime. They were backed by a large and vocal travelling contingent from Suffolk.

The automatic-promotion chasers started the brighter and felt they should have been awarded a penalty in the early stages after Nathan Broadhead went down in the box. Sam Morsy picked him out with a ball over the top and there was a small tug of the shirt but not enough to send him tumbling down.

That proved to be a warning sign and Ipswich took the lead after only 10 minutes. It was a goal that Pears will not want to see back, with Chaplin's shot squirming past him after he was picked out by Leif Davis in the area.

It was a lovely move from the Tractor Boys but an avoidable goal and an individual mistake for Rovers. The last thing Ipswich needed was a helping hand after seven wins in eight before kick-off.

Rovers struggled to maintain meaningful possession in the opposition half and didn't test Vaclav Hladky in the first 30 minutes. But a crucial decision in the match followed shortly after.

With their best move of the half, Rovers cut through Ipswich and thought they'd levelled. Ryan Hedges picked out Dolan, who pulled the ball back for Rankin-Costello to score.

However, a late offside flag went up, with Sam Szmodics judged to have obscured the eyeline of the goalkeeper as it went in. Replays showed the Irish forward was standing to the left of the goalkeeper, not really blocking his vision, with a deflection coming off the defender before the ball went in.

Ipswich came out the quicker for the second half and Chaplin was again central to their threat, cutting in from the left and testing the reflexes of Pears, who palmed the ball away.

It took 60 minutes for Rovers to register their first official shot on target with two big chances passing them by in seconds. 

Hedges' cross was palmed out to Chrisene but he couldn't get his shot away. From the same attack, Dolan got to the byline and picked out Szmodics, whose shot was tipped over the bar from 15 yards.

Ipswich had felt like the big brother keeping their younger sibling far enough away to avoid his swinging arms but Rovers were starting to get closer. Scott Wharton met Hedges' corner but Hladky was down low to keep him out.

Rovers then put the ball in the net for a third time in the match but it was again ruled out. Hladky dropped a cross but was judged to have been fouled as substitute Moran smashed the loose ball in off the crossbar.

Ipswich continued to pose a threat on the break and could have wrapped the game up when substitute Ali Al-Hamadi met Kayden Jackson's cross but he blazed over the bar.

After a blunt first half, Rovers offered far more threat in the second half. Szmodics robbed Hladky a few yards out but the goalkeeper recovered and made the save to atone for his error. There was a lingering feeling that it might not be Rovers' day.

That was the way it proved, with Ipswich holding out for their three points. Rovers will feel hard done to, both in terms of the chances they created in the second half and the decisions of the officials.