Report: Rovers 0 Burnley 1
Rovers suffered derby day despair as they went down 1-0 to Burnley at Ewood Park.
Scott Arfield's second half strike was enough to give the visitors all three points in a match that left Rovers regretting missed opportunities.
Jordan Rhodes' had three sights of goal in the opening half, the best coming on the stroke of half-time when he lashed over the bar from the edge of the box, whilst Scott Arfield saw a shot kept out by Jason Steele.
The home side were then strong starters in the second but were wasteful in front of goal. Lawrence blazed horribly over when through, before Rhodes failed to beat Heaton when well-placed.
Rovers suffered the ultimate punishment just past the hour mark as the Clarets grabbed the crucial goal, Arfield steering the ball home from outside the box after Rovers failed to clear their lines.
In a frantic final few minutes Craig Conway struck the crossbar with a shot from outside the area, before Heaton pulled off a stunning save to deny Shane Duffy at the death.
Ahead of kick-off both sides made one change from their previous outings. Rovers welcomed back Craig Conway after an ankle injury kept him out of the midweek match with Derby County - Chris Taylor the man to make way. Whilst the Clarets saw George Boyd return, he replaced Matty Taylor.
As is often the case with matches between the two sides, there was plenty of passion and endeavour on display but very little quality.
A nervy opening was littered with mistakes, neither team able to impose themselves.
Whilst Burnley were seeing more of the ball, it was Rovers with the first opportunity of the match on ten minutes. Markus Olsson advancing down the left to whip a ball into the box, Jordan Rhodes, running away from goal, shot with a deft flick of the right boot but the ball flashed narrowly over Tom Heaton's bar.
Burnley defender Ben Mee was fortunate to escape with a talking to after clattering Conway with an errant elbow, before Rovers breathed a sigh of relief when Joey Barton went down in the area under the challenge of captain Grant Hanley.
Referee Keith Stroud was unmoved as the fans in the Darwen End bayed for a penalty for the visitors.
Rovers went back on the attack with a sweeping move through the middle. Corry Evans fed Nathan Delfouneso who teed up Tom Lawrence for the shot, the Leicester loan man struck it sweetly but Heaton, at full stretch, claimed the ball well and importantly held on as Rhodes closed in.
At the other end a Sam Vokes shot from distance didn't trouble Jason Steele, but the Rovers keeper was called upon a minute later to keep out a Scott Arfield effort across the box.
Five minutes before the break came Rovers' turn to appeal for a penalty as the lively Lawrence was sent crashing to the ground by Barton. The home side's only reward was a corner kick.
Rhodes headed a Conway centre just over the angle on 44, before the best chance of the half fell to Rovers' top scorer after good work by Lawrence, but for once his range was off as his rising shot from the edge of the box cleared the crossbar.
The noise from the stands showed no sign of abating as the teams returned for the second half unchanged. A Conway cross from the left was just too high for Delfouneso at the back post, before Arfield only found the side-netting after racing into the box.
But on 55 minutes Rovers should should have been celebrating the opening goal as neat passing play between Lawrence and Rhodes cut the visitors open, but with just Heaton to beat Lawrence blazed over the bar.
That raised the decibels levels further, Marshall cut inside from the left but as he was brought down the referee waved play on, Evans let fly but his low shot just flashed past the far post.
Then a high clearance from Marshall saw former Rover Michael Keane struggling as Rhodes gave chase, the striker claimed possession but his left-footed effort lacked power and Heaton claimed.
But despite the strong start to the second half from the home side it was the visitors who grabbed the all-important opener on 63 minutes.
A free-kick into the Rovers area was only half-cleared by Evans and Arfield finished well with a right-foot finish beyond the unsighted Steele.
It was the first time Rovers had conceded at Ewood Park since the early minutes of the Cardiff match back in the middle of August.
Rovers looked for an immediate equaliser, Hope Akpan saw a header claimed, before a Lawrence effort from distance was easy for Heaton.
A Conway corner soon after saw Rovers threaten once more, the ball dropped to Hanley in the box but his shot on the turn struck his own man Delfouneso.
Conway was then within an inch of bringing Rovers back in the game with a superb strike. Cutting in from the left the Scot fired goalwards, but with Heaton beaten the ball struck the crossbar and bounced away to safety.
Shane Duffy then had a chance from a Conway free-kick into the box, the ball falling kindly for the defender but he sliced his shot horribly as it flew high over the bar.
Duffy remained forward in a frantic final few minutes, and he came the closest to levelling deep into injury time but his back post header was tipped over by Heaton.
There was still time for the resulting corner kick but Heaton claimed the ball high to ensure it was the visitors who claimed the bragging rights once more.
Defeat was tough on Rovers as they were the stronger of the two sides for long spells in the game, but they were made to pay for missing their chances by a clinical Burnley side.
ROVERS: Steele, Marshall, Duffy, Hanley (c), Olsson, Conway, Akpan, Evans, Delfouneso (sub Taylor 79 mins), Lawrence, Rhodes.
Subs not used: Raya (GK), Henley, Spurr, Kilgallon, Williamson, O'Sullivan.
BURNLEY: Heaton (c), Darikwa, Keane, Duff, Mee, Arfield, Barton, Jones, Boyd, Gray (sub Long 86 mins), Vokes.
Subs not used: Gilks (GK), Lowton, Kightly, Taylor, Hennings, Ward.
Goals: Arfield 63 mins
Attendance: 19,897 (including 4723 visiting supporters)