Report: Rovers 0 Brighton 1
Rovers head into the international break in disappointing fashion after a 1-0 home loss to Brighton & Hove Albion.
A first half own goal from Matt Kilgallon was enough to give the visitors all three points after a below par display from Rovers.
The visitors started brightly with Chris O'Grady striking the post with a 9th minute effort. The striker then played a crucial role in the opening goal on 26 when his centre was headed into his own net by the Rovers captain.
A disallowed goal was as close as Rovers came to getting back on level terms in a poor first half showing. Jordan Rhodes adjudged to have fouled Brighton keeper David Stockdale in nodding home Ben Marshall's centre.
Rovers improved after the break as Stockdale tipped a glancing header from Rhodes onto the post. Then the keeper acrobatically kept out a well struck shot from Markus Olsson.
But the visitors were rarely put under any undue pressure and they saw the match out with ease to move away from the the relegation places at the bottom of the table.
It was a subdued first half from the home side in the spring sunshine with Albion making all the running.
As early as the fourth minute the visitors threatened, former Rover Gordon Greer heading over an Emmanuel Ledesma free-kick.
Five minutes later they were the width of a post away from taking the lead. Beram Kayal fed Chris O'Grady, and whilst the striker's shot beat Jason Steele, it clipped the far post and bounced away to safety.
Those early warnings weren't heeded and it came as no surprise when Brighton took the lead on 26 minutes, albeit with a touch of fortune.
O'Grady attacked down the right before sending over a cross, Matt Kilgallon unwisely dived to head the ball and in doing so could only divert it into the back of his own net.
It summed up the first half Rovers were having as they struggled to make any headway in the attacking third.
Although they did have the ball in the back of the net just past the half hour, but Jordan Rhodes was adjudged to have fouled goalkeeper David Stockdale as he challenged in high the six-yard box.
Both keepers were worked in the closing stages of the half, Joao Teixeira forcing Steele into a save at full stretch, before Ben Marshall brought out a near-post stop from Stockdale.
A slow start to the second half prompted an early double change with Rudy Gestede and Tommy Spurr replacing Chris Brown and Chris Taylor. That saw Spurr operate at left back with Markus Olsson moving further forward.
That prompted a flurry of Rovers chances. Kilgallon stabbed a Cairney free-kick straight into the arms of Stockdale, before the Brighton man made a superb save to deny Rhodes as he tipped the striker's glancing header onto the post. Gestede met a Spearing corner kick but his header was weak and easily claimed.
Rovers tried to force the pace but without reward, a flowing move saw Adam Henley centre but Marshall fluffed his lines. Rhodes did likewise when space opened up for the striker as he fired tamely at Stockdale.
The Brighton keeper ensured the visitors would make the long journey back to the south coast with all three points when pulled off a superb save six minutes from time.
A Tommy Spurr free-kick found it's way to Olsson whose shot had some venom, but the former Fulham man acrobatically tipped the Swede's effort over the bar.
ROVERS: Steele, Henley, Baptiste, Kilgallon (c), Olsson, Taylor (sub Spurr 54 mins), Spearing, Cairney, Marshall, Brown (sub Gestede 54 mins), Rhodes.
Subs not used: Eastwood (GK), Williamson, Songo'o, Lenihan, Mahoney.
BRIGHTON: Stockdale, Bruno, Greer (c), Halford, Bennett, Ince, Kayal, Joao Teixeira (sub Forster-Caskey 88 mins), Ledesma (sub Calderon 68 mins), Stephens, O'Grady.
Subs: Walton (GK), Hughes, Lua Lua, Mackail-Smith, Holla.
Goals: Kilgallon OG 26mins.
Attendance: 13,605 (including 534 visiting supporters)