Goals from Barry Bannan and Dennis Adeniran saw Rovers suffer a 2-0 defeat at Hillsborough.
It had been a bright start for Rovers who had much of the better play and the better chances in opening half with Kyle Knoyle and Tiago Cukur both going close. But Sheffield Wednesday came out stronger in the second 45 with the chances falling their way.
Despite that, it took something special from the home side’s captain to take the lead - Bannan curling the ball beyond Dahlberg with 15 minutes to go but Adeniran was able to double the advantage three minutes later with a tap-in to put the game beyond Rovers.
Rovers had a late chance to get one back when a Knoyle effort was blocked in the box by the arm of a defender, but Omar Bogle was unable to convert from the penalty spot.
Richie Wellens made three changes to his side that beat Walsall on penalties in midweek with Omar Bogle, Ed Williams and Cameron John replaced by Tiago Cukur, Ethan Galbraith and Tommy Rowe.
After a cagey opening seven or eight minutes in which Dominic Ifor toed an effort on target and Barry Bannan curled a free kick wide of Pontus Dahlberg’s post, Rovers began to get a control of the possession, moving the ball nicely through the middle of the park.
There was plenty of harrying from Galbraith and Ben Close, while John Bostock played some delight balls into the channels for the wide players.
It was one of these passes which led to the first real chance of the game on the 17th minute. Dan Gardner was picked out in a lot of space on the left and was allowed to cut inside and bend one right-footed just outside Bailey Peacock-Farrell’s back post.
A foul by Tommy Rowe just outside the Rovers box earned him a booking and gave Wednesday their best chance but Bannan bent the ball high and wide of Dahlberg’s goal and into the Rovers fans.
Rovers had a couple of chances around the half-hour mark. Two or three falling to Gardner, Barlow and Rowe as the home side failed to clear their lines but the best by far fell to Cukur who toed over from close-range after being picked out by Ethan Galbraith. The Turkish youth international was at full stretch.
The home side earned another good chance when Knoyle conceded a foul centrally outside the box but once again Bannan curled the ball over but Knoyle nearly made up for the error and then some when his effort needed a good stop by Peacock-Farrell at his near post just before half time.
Rovers may have preferred the free kick on the edge of the box which was surely coming had Aidan Barlow’s backheel not found the right-back. But once again, it all came from more good work in the middle of the park by Bostock who was dictating the play for Rovers.
There were no changes for either side at the break, and the game started in near silence as a strong Rovers performance in the opening period had quietened the Wednesday supporters.
It was only five minutes before that volume was restored. Lewis Wing tried his luck from 25 yards. The effort was hit sweetly and saved well by Dahlberg and the Swedish keeper was needed again minutes later when referee Ross Joyce allowed Wednesday to take a quick free kick releasing Andre Green into the Rovers box.
Centre forward Florian Kamberi should certainly have scored when Marvin Johnson’s cross found him in the centre of the box though Rovers defenders were arguing the ball was out of play before it was crossed.
Rovers had a half chance when Rowe danced his way through the Wednesday players (with a cheeky nutmeg included) to get the team into an a good position. The ball was worked to Knoyle but the cross to the back post evaded Cukur.
A foul on John Bostock offered Rovers their first sight of goal in the second period but his shot - and Barlow’s follow-up - were both blocked by the blue and white stiped wall. It sparked a better period for Rovers and Omar Bogle headed off target with his first touch after replacing Cukur.
In the end, it took something special from the home side to take the lead. Bannan picked the ball up at the edge of the box and curled it into the top corner giving Dahlberg no chance.
Within minutes, the game was taken away from Rovers. Dahlberg got a hand to Jaden Brown’s cross but was only able to tip it into the path of Adeniran who was able to tap into the empty net.
Rovers continued to push and were handed a golden opportunity in the 87th minute when Knoyle’s effort on target was blocked by a defenders arm, but Bogle could only find the crossbar from 12-yards and Close skewed the follow up wide.