Bristol City substitute Aaron Wilbraham struck late to rob Rovers of a share of the points at Ashton Gate.
A deflected effort from the veteran striker just two minutes from time saw the Robins break Rovers hearts.
The result was harsh on Owen Coyle's side as they had enjoyed plenty of possession and more of the goalmouth opportunities in an open encounter, and looked to be full value for a point.
However their inability to see matches out proved costly once more as Wilbraham popped up late to steal the win.
Rovers named an unchanged starting XI for the match against Bristol City, the manager keeping faith with the side that defeated Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night.
And like in the midweek win, Rovers were strong starters at Ashton Gate. A drop of the shoulder from Marvin Emnes on three minutes opened up play for the forward who found Ben Marshall on the edge of the box, the midfielder poked an effort towards the far corner but it skimmed off Scott Golbourne and behind.
Rovers continued to enjoy plenty of the ball with Marshall and Emnes lively. A Danny Guthrie cross saw Jason Lowe battle at the back post winning the first header, but former Rovers youngster Frank Fielding was smartly off his line to come and collect the second ball.
Derrick Williams was impressing on his return to Ashton Gate, feeding Guthrie who was just off target from outside the box. Then following a fine ball from the full-back over the top, Conway crossed from the left to where Marshall was threatening, but the Rovers man mis-judged the flight of the ball.
In a first half in which Rovers were solid at the back, only Lee Tomlin posed any threat for the Robins. The former Middlesbrough man firing just wide after escaping the clutches of Corry Evans for the first time.
But play swiftly returned towards Fielding's goal. The keeper claiming a Marshall free-kick before Darragh Lenihan fired over as the half drew to a close.
Having defended resolutely in giving up very little in terms of goalmouth opportunities for the home side in the first half, the Robins carried a greater threat in the second.
Rovers returned unchanged at the turnaround, but less than three minutes in former Bristol City man Williams stretched to block a Luke Freeman cross and immediately pulled up.
After a spell of treatment the Rovers defender limped off, with Charlie Mulgrew on as his replacement.
Jason Steele was immediately called into action from the resulting throw that reached the six-yard box, the Rovers keeper sliding to claim the ball ahead of Korey Smith.
Then a half-clearance from Tommie Hoban only went as far as Jamie Paterson, but the former Huddersfield man launched his shot over the bar.
Rovers responded with a flurry of chances of their own. On 62 minutes Marshall slipped the ball through to Sam Gallagher to the right of the area, but his ball across the six-yard box evaded both Emnes and Conway.
A minute later play switched down the left with Conway's turn to fire a ball across the box, but Gallagher was unable to connect.
Then, having drifted across to the left, Marshall cut inside onto his right foot, but 20-yards out he curled his effort just beyond the far post. Conway then tried similar, but he was further away from Fielding's goal.
In what was proving to be an increasingly open contest, Paterson then saw a goalbound shot deflect off the thigh of Lenihan. It would prove to be his last involvement as the hosts made a double change as Aaron Wilbraham and Taylor Moore replaced Paterson and Adam Matthews.
Hoban headed into the arms of Fielding, Mulgrew fired wide and Marshall saw a thunderbolt tipped over as Rovers pressed for a late winner.
However, after threatening once on the counter-attack from a Rovers corner kick when Lenihan had to make an important block, the home side repeated the feat two minutes from time to steal all three points.
As Tomlin sent it long cross-field, Lowe failed to connect with an outstretched boot and that allowed substitute Wilbraham to cut inside and shoot, the ball deflecting off the unfortunate Hoban to wrong-foot Steele as it nestled into the opposite corner of the net.
Rovers didn't deserve to lose the match, but not for the first time this season, they were left to rue points dropped courtesy of a late goal.
BRISTOL: Fielding, Flint, O'Neil (c), Smith, Abraham, Tomlin, Golbourne, Freeman (sub Bryan 75 mins), Paterson (sub Wilbraham 68 mins), Magnusson, Matthews (sub Moore 69 mins).
Subs not used: O'Donnell (GK), Little, Engvall, Pack.
Goals: Wilbraham 88 mins.
Booked: Flint 17 mins, Paterson 20 mins.
ROVERS: Steele, Lowe (c), Lenihan, Hoban, Williams (sub Mulgrew 49 mins), Marshall, Evans, Guthrie (sub Akpan 79 mins), Conway, Emnes, Gallagher.
Subs not used: Raya (GK), Feeney, Byrne, Samuelsen, Bennett.
Booked: Mulgrew 88 mins.
Attendance: 21,452 (556 Rovers fans)