Report: Rovers 0 Bolton 0
Rovers search for that first win of the season continues after being held to a goalless draw by Bolton Wanderers on Friday night.
In a pulsating derby, the home side dominated for long spells, but they were once again left frustrated in front of goal at Ewood Park.
The home side were straight on it from the off with Shane Duffy twice going close with early chances, before the returning Jordan Rhodes saw a pair of headers flash wide in a one-sided first half.
The second period saw the Trotters grateful for a double save from Ben Amos as he twice denied Tommy Spurr. The former Manchester United keeper tipped over a Spurr free-kick from underneath his own bar, before saving low to deny the defender from the resulting corner kick.
Substitute Fode Koita saw a goal chalked off for offside as the blues poured forward in the closing stages, yet it could have been the visitors celebrating a win but for Duffy's goal-line clearance to deny Emile Heskey to ensure the points were shared.
After missing the last two matches with an ankle injury, Jordan Rhodes made a welcome return to the starting XI as boss Gary Bowyer made four changes from the side that faced Brighton six days earlier.
Also coming into the side were Adam Henley and Jason Lowe who missed the match at the Amex through illness, whilst Corry Evans returned to the side.
Those changes saw Tom Lawrence, Danny Guthrie and Fode Koita drop down to the bench, whilst Hope Akpan missed out on the first Lancashire derby of the season with an ankle knock picked up in training.
Not for the first time this season, Rovers were on the front foot from the off, putting their opponents under pressure straight away.
Inside three minutes a Tommy Spurr free-kick picked out the head of Shane Duffy, but the defender was just wide with his effort.
Ten minutes later and another ball into the box found the Irishman, but like his earlier chance, he was unable to direct the ball on target.
Rovers continued to hustle and harry the Trotters to create the opportunities. Ben Marshall saw a chance blocked by Prince Gouano, before Rhodes was inches wide with a near-post header.
The Rovers striker had another chance just past the half hour, but again Rhodes was narrowly off target from Marshall's delivery.
Nathan Delfouneso then raced through on goal, but as he cut back onto his left foot to shoot, he curled the shot beyond the far post.
Aside from an early penalty shout, the visitors had offered little as an attacking threat in the first half.
Former Rovers youngster Neil Danns was well wide with a shot from distance, before in time added on at the end of the first half, forward Gary Madine headed over a Liam Feeney, the impressive Duffy doing enough to put the Trotters' forward off.
The start of the second half saw Rovers back on the attack once more, Marshall cutting inside from the left, but as play opened up for the attacker his effort at goal was well blocked.
Then a lovely dummy from Evans saw space available, he found Craig Conway but the Scotsman's shot deflected over the bar. Conway took the resulting corner himself, Duffy rose highest but couldn't keep his header down.
Ahead of the hour mark Rovers made their first change as Fode Koita replaced Ben Marshall. The Frenchman going on up front alongside Rhodes, the hardworking Delfouneso moving to the left.
With both sets of fans making themselves heard it was Rovers who continued to force the pace. On 69 a Spurr free kick from out on the fight had to be tipped over from under his own bar by Ben Amos in the Bolton goal.
From the resulting corner Rovers went even closer, Conway sent the ball into the box to where Spurr connect, but Amos saved low on the line and Koita could only put the rebound into the Rovers fans behind the goal.
Rovers threw on Danny Guthrie and Modou Barrow, Bolton sent on Emile Heskey. Yet fellow sub Koita thought he had scored four minutes from time when he poked home after Rhodes' shot had been blocked, but the Frenchman was denied by the linesman's flag.
Three minutes from time Rovers were grateful to a sensational block on the line from man-of-the-match Duffy. As Raya saved a shot across goal the ball ran to Heskey, so often a thorn in the Rovers side, the veteran striker picked his spot but thankfully the defender was in the right place at the right time to clear off the line.
The closing stages saw Rovers continue to throw everything forward in search of the elusive goal their play deserved, but they were once again left frustrated that the chances they had created couldn't be converted.
ROVERS: Raya, Henley, Duffy, Hanley (c), Spurr; Conway, Lowe, Evans (sub Guthrie 68 mins), Marshall (sub Koita 59 mins), Delfouneso (sub Barrow 78), Rhodes.
Subs not used: Steele (GK), Kilgallon, Olsson, Lawrence.
Booked: Duffy, Evans, Hanley.
BOLTON: Amos, Wilson, Dervite, Prince, Moxey, Davies, Danns, Feeney, Silva (sub Heskey 79 mins), Clough, Madine
Subs: Fitzsimons (GK), Vela, Spearing, Dobbie, Casado, Finney
Booked: Moxey, Silva, Davies, Danns, Dervite.
Attendance: 14,632 (including 2283 visiting supporters)