Blackburn Rovers missed the chance to secure their Championship safety and opened the door for Sheffield Wednesday after a 3-1 reverse at Ewood Park.

Rovers knew that victory would mathematically ensure they remain in the division for next season but they passed up that chance in a 'six-pointer' on Sunday.

The game was defined by a terrible individual mistake from Aynsley Pears, who accidentally sliced a routine back pass into his own net, putting the visitors 3-1 ahead.

That proved to be a crucial moment in what was otherwise a tight and nervy affair. The Owls got off to the perfect start when Pears and Dom Hyam failed to deal with a bouncing ball, allowing Josh Windass to sensationally lob the goalkeeper from 40 yards.

Rovers responded quickly though and levelled through Sam Szmodics. The Championship's top-scorer moved to 31 for the season after latching onto a through ball and slotting past the goalkeeper.

After a frantic first 10 minutes, the game was scrappy and tense, with neither side showing enough quality on the ball. It wasn't until the second half that it opened up.

Wednesday pounced on the counter-attack and restored their lead, with Anthony Musaba crossing for Marvin Johnson at the back post.

Pears' horror moment soon followed as he sliced Hyam's backpass into his goal, putting Wednesday 3-1 up and on course to move out of the relegation zone and two points behind Rovers.

It was a big opportunity missed for John Eustace's side, who now need at least a point from their final two matches, at home to Coventry City and away at Leicester City, to ensure they keep their heads above water.

The stakes couldn't have been higher on 'Survival Sunday'. The equation for Rovers was simple, with three points enough to secure their safety. A point, considering their superior goal difference, would arguably be sufficient too albeit not mathematically certain.

The visitors arguably needed the points more, despite Eustace's side claims otherwise, with a win vital for Sheffield Wednesday to continue their quest to stay in the Championship.

Rovers were boosted by the fitness of Scott Wharton, leaving them unchanged from the heroics at Elland Road last weekend. Yasin Ayari and Andrew Moran returned to the bench too after muscle injuries.

In such a tense relegation 'six-pointer', these games can often take a while to come to the boil. But a lightning-fast start saw both teams off the mark inside the first 10 minutes.

It was the 7,000 visiting fans that were sent into raptures first after a goal all of Rovers' own making. Pears rushed out of his goal and headed to Hyam, who took too long to clear the ball.

It was closed down and the ball broke to Windass, who expertly lobbed Pears from 40 yards out. A fantastic strike but equally an incredibly avoidable way to concede.

Luckily, Rovers have the hottest forward in the Championship and weren't behind for long. Callum Brittain's ball unleashed Szmodics in-behind the Owls' defence and he slotted past the goalkeeper with the assuredness of a man with 31 goals.

It was the perfect tonic for Rovers to quieten the away crowd. With 15 minutes played, the game looked set to be a classic, only for the following half an hour to disappoint.

Both teams were guilty of handing the ball back to the one too cheaply. Rovers looked the more succinct of the two teams but the game became quite scrappy.

It was Wednesday who had the next big chance just before half-time, though. Marvin Johnson robbed Hayden Carter on the touchline and his cross picked out Liam Palmer but he couldn't hit the target from 18 yards, dead centre.

Rovers were getting joy with balls spun behind the Wednesday defence and Szmodics almost got his second of the game via that route, only for Bambo Diaby to deny him with a last-ditch tackle.

With so many stoppages, both teams struggled to find any momentum or rhythm in the match. But with 30 minutes to go, the away side got their noses back in front.

Rovers gave the ball away and were caught on the counter attack. Musaba then picked out Johnson at the back post, who was unmarked and tasted with a simple finish.

It had been a tame and sleepy performance from the hosts and things went from bad to worse soon after. It was a disastrous moment for Pears, who wanted the ground to swallow him up.

The ball was rolled back to the goalkeeper and he completely miss-hit his clearance, slicing it into his own net. There is no way to dress it up, it was a terrible mistake.

Rovers still had 25 minutes plus plenty of stoppages to get themselves back into the match, though. Szmodics had another clear sight of goal but couldn't convert on the stretch.

At the other end, Wednesday looked capable of adding more. Musaba went through on goal but Pears made a good stop to prevent him from wrapping up the game.

With a two-goal lead and little incentive to chase the game, Wednesday soaked up Rovers' limited pressure and tried to hit them on the counter-attack. The hosts lacked the imagination to open them up even with a change of shape and introductions from the bench.

This was an opportunity blown by Rovers. After the euphoria of Elland Road, they had been brought back down to Earth with a bump.

The pressure is now on to pick up at least a draw from their final two games. Both teams, at the time of writing, are in the hunt for promotion themselves but results in midweek could alter their desperation for points.