TOP-SCORER Rudy Gestede rescued a dramatic late point for Rovers last night on his return to his old stamping ground.

Gary Bowyer’s side fell behind in the 84th minute when they conceded from a corner for the third time in the last four matches.


But former Bluebirds striker Gestede cancelled out Sean Morrison’s opener in the final minute of normal time.

His 15th goal of the season means Rovers will go into Saturday’s home clash with Blackpool still without an away league win since October 25 but one point closer to the play-offs.

Bowyer made four changes – three enforced – to the side that started Saturday’s stunning FA Cup fifth-round success over Stoke City.

But he did keep faith with the forward line that fired Rovers to that memorable 4-1 victory.

However Gestede and Josh King were largely kept under lock and key in a hard and evenly fought first half.

And the one time the dynamic duo threatened to combine to devastating effect, like they did so often against Stoke, they were denied by a brilliant goal-line clearance from Scott Malone.

Earlier in the half, though, the excellent Matt Kilgallon produced an even better bit of defending.

Impressive debutant Matthew Kennedy got to the byline and swung over a cross that Adam Henley should have headed clear.

Instead the Wales U21s international let the ball drift over his head to Craig Noone who immediately swung it back into the box toward Eoin Doyle.

The transfer deadline day signing from Chesterfield must have thought he had opened his account for Cardiff when he connected cleanly with the ball.

But somehow Kilgallon managed to get back to hack it off the line with Jason Steele well beaten.

It kick-started a spell of intense pressure from a vastly improved Bluebirds side.

But Rovers weathered the storm and, without ever really hitting their stride, did create two clear chances before the opening period was out.

The first came when Gestede knocked a Craig Conway free kick into the path of strike-partner King who would have scored had Aron Gunnarsson not blocked on the linem the second when Chris Taylor sent a free header from a Tom Cairney corner over the bar.

Taylor tried to make amends by carving out the first opportunity of the second half which Gestede, having caused Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall concern when charging down a clearance in first-half added time, headed over on the run.

By that stage Rovers had been forced to make a change with Jay Spearing replacing the injured Corry Evans.

And moments later they could and should have been a goal behind too as Kenwyne Jones got in between two defenders only to head Kennedy’s cross inches wide with the goal at his mercy.

Too often Rovers were guilty of giving possession away needlessly and, following one lacklustre Henley pass, Gunnarsson was not far away with a powerfully struck shot from 25 yards.

But they put together a move of quality in the 76th minute that brought them desperately close to the opening goal.

Conway, like Gestede a Bluebirds old boy, fired over a cross that committed Marshall.

But with the keeper beaten King could only flick the ball agonisingly the wrong side of the post.

And he was made to pay when Peter Whittingham’s corner delivered deep to the back post was emphatically headed home by Morrison.

But just when Rovers looked to be heading for a third successive away defeat, Cairney created space for himself in the box and pulled the ball back for substitute Chris Brown who saw his shot blocked on the line by Malone.

But the rebound broke to Gestede and he forced it home.