HOW Rovers needed that as they scrapped and battled their way to a first win since January courtesy of a 3-0 victory over Wigan Athletic.

Danny Graham scored twice, including a first half penalty which took him to 50 goals for the club. He made the first step towards a century with a second half strike, and the gloss was added by a late Bradley Dack strike.

They might not have had to work hard for the three goals they scored, but an impressive first clean sheet since January, with a patched up defence which included a debut for Academy graduate Tyler Magloire, will have done them the world of good.

While Wigan now face the scrap of their lives to stay in the division, another season of Championship football is all but secured for Rovers as they moved to 47 points with nine games remaining.

Both teams came in to the game without a win in 13 between them, and there were nerves on show as neither wanted to make a mistake.

Nick Powell fired a free kick over the bar before Harrison Reed’s 20-yard strike ended up in the Darwen End in what was an uneventful opening 15 minutes.

Magloire’s first action of the match was to clear behind for a corner which Joe Garner headed over from.

Rovers’ best moments were coming from link-up play between Adam Armstrong and Dack, as first Dack’s attempted chip was smothered by Jamie Jones, before he fired over from a promising position 25 yards out.

But more injury problems threatened to de-rail Rovers as Amari’i Bell sustained a back problem which saw a reshuffle, as Craig Conway went to left wing back. That made for an even more makeshift defence as Wigan began to sense their chance.

Magloire was showing his strength though, blocking a shot from Garner and seeing off Michael Jacobs’ break in to the box.

And he would have a say in the opening goal at the other end as his header across goal found Reed who was brought down by the high boot of Reece James. Graham, whose previous good work had seen him defending well from set plays, stepped up and stroked the ball in to the top corner for his 50th goal for the club.

That was a first Rovers goal at Ewood Park for some 332 minutes, and a first goal in the opening half of any match since February 2.

Wigan sent on Callum McManaman, a scorer in the reverse fixture in November, at half time. He made an instant impact, skinning Conway to cross for Powell whose header flicked the outside of the near post.

There was a welcome bonus of a two goal lead for Rovers eight minutes in to the second half. The conditions played a part as a long punt from Raya wasn’t dealt with, and after stealing in behind the central defenders, Graham had the awareness to turn home his second of the night.

There was plenty of defending left for Rovers to do though, as Lee Evans struck a vicious 25-yard effort wide, before Raya saved smartly from sub Josh Windass before Nyambe saved a certain goal as he deflected behind a Garner effort from six yards.

It wasn’t always pretty at the back, but it was proving effective.

A third would have done nicely for Rovers, and that would have come via the best move of the match had Dack not spooned over from 12 yards after excellent work, initially by Nyambe, and then substitute Joe Rothwell.

Dack was eager for a goal as Rovers began to turn on the pressure. He headed too close to Jones from a Conway cross before the keeper gathered a stinging shot at the second attempt.

Rovers were passing up chances to sew up the match as Nuttall missed a good opportunity.

But the home side didn’t have to work hard for the third goal when it did come.

Dunkley knocked the ball beyond his keeper, and Dack slid in for the loose ball and was able to turn it over the line.

Victory sees Rovers climb a place in the Championship to 16th.