Rovers suffered back to back defeats for the first time since early December as they fell to league leaders Bristol City at the Keepmoat.
Goals from Luke Freeman, Greg Cunningham and Aaron Wilbraham proved enough for City to take all three points back to the South West and open up a five point lead at the top of League One.
Substitute Curtis Main had given Rovers a lifeline in making the score 2-1 but it lasted just 12 minutes as Wilbraham put the game to bed.
The defeat meant Rovers missed out on pushing back into the top six after dropping out following the weekend’s 3-0 defeat at Port Vale.
And there will be some concern that the once steadfast defence conceded three goals in two successive matches.
Rovers had made a lively start without testing Frank Fielding in the City goal.
City fired a warning shot moments before taking the lead when Wilbraham narrowly headed over from a Marlon Pack corner.
And then Freeman slotted past Stephen Bywater to give the table toppers a tenth minute lead.
Wilbraham attempted a cross field ball but it ricocheted off Jamie McCombe leaving Freeman through on goal to score.
Freeman looked to double his tally on 20 minutes but could only produce a tame shot that made for an easy save for Bywater.
Cunningham went close to giving the visitors a comfortable advantage when he flicked a header over the bar.
A superb block from Aden Flint prevented Dean Furman from going clear on goal as Rovers looked to cancel out Freeman’s opener.
Richie Wellens’ superb through ball sent Furman scarpering but Flint was on hand to block his path.
Cunningham scored from the spot to hand City a two goal cushion with 33 minutes gone.
Andy Butler was adjudged to have brought down former Rotherham United forward Kieran Agard and Cunningham stepped up confidently to smash home past Bywater from the spot.
Paul Dickov threw on strikers Uche Ikpeazu and Main at half time in a bid to force their way back into the game.
Main’s 57th minute piledriver reduced the size of the mountain, albeit briefly.
The striker, on as a half time substitute, smashed a shot in off the underside of the bar from 20 yards out.
The goal gave Rovers a real boost and Reece Wabara fired wide from outside the box soon after.
But the brief flicker of hope was extinguished as Bristol City restored their two goal cushion.
Wilbraham pounced as Rovers failed to clear a Cunningham cross, putting the League One leaders back in control.
Rovers: Bywater, Wabara, Butler, McCombe, Stevens, Keegan (Razak 76), Bennett (Ikpeazu 46), Wellens, Furman, Forrester (Main 46), Tyson.
Subs not used: Marosi, Evina, McCullough, Robinson.
Bristol City: Fielding; Little, Ayling, Flint, Williams, Cunningham; K.Smith, Pack, Freeman (Wagstaff 90); Agard (Emmanuel-Thomas 90), Wilbraham (M Smith 89).
Subs not used: Richards, Tavernier, Bryan, Elliott.