|Pompey have signed defender Paul Downing on a three-year deal.
The 27-year-old – who spent time on loan at Doncaster last term- will officially become a Blues player on July 1 when his Blackburn contract expires.
Downing started his career with West Brom, but failed to make a senior appearance and moved to Walsall in 2012.
He made almost 200 appearances during four years with the Saddlers, then had a stint with MK Dons before, in the summer of 2017, signing for Blackburn.
The centre-back was part of the Rovers side that won League One promotion in 2017/18 and played 22 times while on loan with Doncaster in the second half of last season.
It looked like Conor Chaplin would be the hero for a second game in succession when he headed the Blues level early in the second half.
Adam Armstrong had earlier scored for Rovers and the same player struck again to deflate a large home crowd.
Lewis Travis saw red for the visitors in stoppage-time, but they held on to boost their automatic promotion hopes.
Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that dramatically beat MK Dons at the weekend.
Chaplin was rewarded for his stoppage-time winner with a start, along with Jamal Lowe and – returning from suspension – Christian Burgess.
Matty Kennedy, Connor Ronan and Oli Hawkins were the men to make way, with the trio dropping to the bench.
There was an early warning for the hosts when Ben Close lost possession to Jack Payne. He found Bradley Dack, only for Luke McGee to come to the rescue with a smart stop.
Pompey tried to make an impact at the other end and Dion Donohue’s volley was kept out by David Raya, while the keeper then prevented Chaplin’s cross from reaching an unmarked Brett Pitman.
It was the visitors looking more dangerous, though, and when Charlie Mulgrew whipped a free-kick into the box, Paul Downing glanced just wide.
And the deadlock was broken on 21 minutes, as Mulgrew flicked on Richie Smallwood’s cross and Armstrong turned the ball home.
The Blues picked up the pace in the search for an equaliser, with Chaplin and Close both seeing efforts blocked in quick succession.
Ryan Nyambe then made a vital header when Nathan Thompson tried to float a pass to Close in the Rovers box.
Pitman had the hosts’ best chance on 32 minutes, as he wriggled into a shooting position, with Raya getting down to save his angled drive.
Pompey kept plugging away, but Gareth Evans ballooned over when Donohue picked him out in the area.
Pitman also lacked his usual composure by firing wide, while Lowe was then off target with a diving header.
But the Blues finished the half strongly and Raya got down to save when Evans met another dangerous Donohue delivery with a deft flick.
Anton Walkes also had a decent effort in stoppage-time and there were gasps as the ball curled agonisingly past the post.
Blackburn Rovers 1
The hosts had improved as the first half progressed and found themselves level within five minutes of the restart.
Donohue sent a cross in from the left and Walkes did well to hook it back into the centre, where CHAPLIN was waiting to head home from close range.
They might have had another soon after when Raya came tearing from his box, but failed to collect the ball.
Pitman did gather it and steadied himself on the left side of the area, although he was unable to curl his shot on target.
Raya had collided with team-mate Nyambe in that incident and the defender received warm applause as he was stretched off towards a waiting ambulance.
McGee denied Dack at the other end, but the action had started to lull following a breathless start to the second half.
But Pompey injected life back into proceedings when Donohue’s cross was not properly dealt with and Close’s follow-up was deflected narrowly wide.
There was a sense of urgency at both ends of the pitch as the clock ticked down into the final 15 minutes.
Close did well to get down the right and centre the ball, with it being headed behind before Lowe could take advantage on the back post.
A seemingly innocuous cross from Armstrong then crept narrowly wide, as did Mulgrew’s deep free-kick moments later.
Chaplin was cheered off the pitch when Jackett decided to replace him with Hawkins for the final few minutes.
But the mood soon soured, as Rovers restored their advantage. Darragh Lenihan’s cross ricocheted off Matt Clarke and fell kindly for Armstrong to lash in his second of the night.
Hopes were raised by the display of seven additional minutes, while Travis’ red card for a late challenge on Thompson provided more cause for optimism.
Pompey threw men forward in a desperate search for another equaliser, but Blackburn held on to secure the spoils.
Pompey (4-4-2): McGee; Walkes, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue; Evans, Thompson, Close, Lowe (Kennedy 90+2); Chaplin (Hawkins 85), Pitman (c)
Goals: Chaplin 50
Subs not used: Bass, Deslandes, May, Ronan, Naismith
Blackburn (4-2-3-1): Raya; Nyambe (Lenihan 56), Downing, Mulgrew (c), Williams; Bennett, Smallwood; Payne (Travis 56), Dack, Armstrong; Samuel (Graham 82)
Goals: Armstrong 21, 87
Sent off: Travis
Subs not used: Leutwiler, Bell, Evans, Conway
Referee: Oliver Langford
Attendance: 18,152 (884 away fans)
The visitors created little, albeit in terrible conditions, and conceded goals in both halves to make the treacherous trip home with nothing to show for their efforts.
Bradley Dack opened the scoring before the break, while Danny Graham then doubled Rovers’ advantage after it.
Dominic Samuel was sent off for the hosts, but they were still able to wrap things up with a third goal from Craig Conway.
Kenny Jackett made one change from the side beaten at Doncaster earlier in the week.
Jamal Lowe was restored to the starting line-up and Gareth Evans dropped to the bench, meaning that the captain’s armband returned to Stuart O’Keefe.
Brett Pitman had recovered from keyhole surgery on his knee, but had to be content with a place among the substitutes.
There was also a ‘Battle of the Bennetts’, as Pompey winger Kyle was up against his older brother Elliott.
Storm Brian made life difficult for both teams, with heavy rain accompanying the wind swirling around Ewood Park.
And there were not too many clear-cut chances to reward those fans who braved the conditions to watch the game.
It was the hosts looking the more threatening, though, and a couple of dangerous deliveries had to be scrambled clear.
Dack then fired a warning shot narrowly wide midway through the first half after being teed-up by strike-partner Graham.
Richie Smallwood was closer moments later, with a thumping effort from 30 yards that Luke McGee did well to turn over the bar.
The keeper was soon called into action again and denied Dack with his legs before Graham turned the loose ball against the crossbar.
But the Blues soon had a decent opportunity of their own when Bennett met Lowe’s cross with a volley that forced David Raya to save down to his right.
It was Rovers who broke the deadlock on 38 minutes, however, as Harry Chapman stole the ball from Dion Donohue and fed Dack for a powerful finish.
Pompey tried to find a response before the break, although an O’Keefe shot that was comfortably saved by Raya was all they had to show for their efforts.
Blackburn Rovers 1
The rain got even heavier as the teams came out to start the second half and it certainly seemed to affect the standard of play.
Donohue was shown a yellow card for tugging back Chapman as the midfielder tried to surge into the box.
Skipper Charlie Mulgrew took the resulting free-kick from the side of the box and his fierce effort had to be beaten away by McGee.
But Rovers did double their advantage just before the hour mark, as Derrick Williams got down the left and teed-up Graham for a calm finish into the bottom corner.
Pompey had a chance to hit back when Ryan Nyambe received a yellow card for a foul on Matty Kennedy.
The free-kick was played short to Bennett, whose low shot from outside the area crept narrowly wide of Raya’s post.
That was Bennett’s last contribution to proceedings, however, as he and Oliver Hawkins made way for Conor Chaplin and a mask-wearing Pitman.
Both sides then had attempts from long distance, with strikes from Peter Whittingham and Pitman not too far off target.
With the rain continuing to fall there was plenty of surface water to make life even more difficult for both sides.
And with players struggling to keep their footing, the Blues could at least take comfort from the fact that nobody limped off in the closing stages.
But Rovers did not end the game with all 11 men on the pitch, with referee Chris Kavanagh forced to brandish a red card.
Christian Burgess held up Samuel as he tried to chase a loose ball and the frustrated Blackburn substitute kicked out at him.
The hosts were still able to add another goal late on, however, as Conway broke up the pitch and slotted past McGee.
Blackburn: Raya; Nyambe, Downing, Mulgrew (c), Williams; Chapman (Conway 68), Smallwood, Whittingham, Bennett; Graham (Samuel 74), Dack (Evans 77)
Goals: Dack 38, Graham 58, Conway 90
Sent off: Samuel
Subs not used: Leutwiler, Caddis, Gladwin, Antonsson
Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue; O’Keefe (c), Close; Lowe, Bennett (Chaplin 64), Kennedy (Naismith 76); Hawkins (Pitman 64)
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Rose, Evans
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Attendance: 11,673 (1,209 Pompey fans)