Though City took a first half lead through Dire Mebude, Rovers drew level before the break.
The visitors then took the lead early in the second half – and though Brian Barry-Murphy’s side fought valiantly to try and summon up a response. an injury time free-kick sealed the points for the visitors.
It proved an entertaining and evenly fought contest from the off with City enjoying the early domination.
Kian Breckin fired in an early shot on goal after a Tomas Galvez burst down the left.
And our early pressure was rewarded as we took a 24th minute lead.
Daniel Ogwuru’s powerful shot was blocked by the Rovers keeper by Dire Mebude followed up to score.
Only a smart save bon the half hour y the Rovers keeper prevented Ogwuru latching onto an inviting Borges pass before Rovers then drew level.
Jack Vale’s pin-point through ball split the City defence and Harrison Wood applied the finish.
In an end-to-end contest, City skipper Shea Charles saw his 20 yard half volley whistle over the bar before City were then indebted to keeper Mikki van Sas who produced two smart saves to deny first Vale and then Wood.
Van Sas then earned his spurs again on 47 minutesd with a stunning block to deny Harry Leonard.
The Rovers striker then saw another effort curl just wide before City sub Ben Knight brought a fine save out of Rovers keeper Jordan Eastham
But a minute later Rover struck again to breach the City backline. Knight dispossessed on the edge of the City box and dangerman Leonard saw his shot sneak over the line inside the far post.
Skipper Shea Charles then produced a fine block on line to deny Leonard another goal.
City sought to up the ante with Kian Breckin seeing a goal-bound shot deflected away off the line and penned Rovers into their half.
But we were unable to make that pressure tell and a frustrating afternoon was then compounded in injury time when Buckley’s free-kick evaded van Sas.
How we lined up
Mikki van Sas was in goal and shielded by a back four of Ezra Carrington, Finley Burns, Kane Taylor and Tom Galvez. Skipper Shea Charles was the holding midfielder with Dire Mebude and Kian Breckin also in midfield.
Daniel Ogwuru, Josh Adam and Carlos Borges made up our attacking trident.
What it means
A first PL 2 defeat of the season means City remain in second place in the table on 17 points but have now played a game more than leaders Crystal Palace.
Brian Barry-Murphy’s youngsters are back in action on Tuesday when we resume our UEFA Youth League campaign away at FC Copenhagen.
Kick-off in the Danish capital is at 1pm UK time and the match will be screened live on CITY+ and Recast.