On the pitch, a one-sided game played at testimonial pace. Off it, a clear demonstration from fans that what they have been served this season has simply not been good enough.
Goals from Ben Brereton and Adam Armstrong ensured a 28th defeat of the campaign but if nothing else is taken from this game, it will be the calls for Phil Parkinson’s head which punctuated the second half.
A decade ago at this very stadium Bolton fans had rained down abuse on a certain Gary Megson, who reacted by branding them “pathetic”.
Assistant boss Steve Parkin was sent out to speak with the media on this occasion, his response infinitely more diplomatic, and dignified.
“You can understand their frustration because we’re frustrated too,” he said. “It hasn’t just been a difficult few weeks or months, it has been a difficult few years. We just about held on by the skin of our teeth last year but this time it has been even worse.”
Wanderers made three changes to the side beaten by Aston Villa – reinstating Sammy Ameobi, Craig Noone and Mark Beevers.
That in itself brought a furious reaction from the fans, many of whom feel Parkinson has been too loyal to the players who have underperformed this season.
From the first whistle the support from high in the Bryan Douglas Darwen End was unrelenting.
Chants ranged from the risqué to the downright depreciating but if the watching Laurence Bassini can be guaranteed of anything next season, it is that those convinced to turn out at full price on a Bank Holiday Monday will be there again at Gillingham, Oxford and, as the song goes, Shrewsbury.
Fans even serenaded their owner-in-waiting moments before the opening goal went in, not something you hear every day.
Up to that stage there was plenty to cheer. Bolton had been the better side and created the more meaningful opportunities.
Callum Connolly should have opened the scoring when he put a free header over the bar from Noone’s cross and both Ameobi and Luca Connell tested Jayson Leutwiler from distance.
Wanderers lost Beevers to injury – and he would later be followed down the tunnel by Joe Williams before the first half was out.
Rovers hadn’t mustered much but they opened the scoring on the half-hour mark with a touch of class, big-money signing Brereton running on to Bradley Dack’s pass to score his first for the club. Parkinson may argue the referee missed a handball by Darragh Lenihan earlier in the move, but such is Bolton’s lot.
Williams then walked off the field gingerly after over-stretching, replaced by Luke Murphy who had a searing drive nip just past the post before the interval.
The last time a Bolton side came back from a goal down away from home to win three points was at AFC Wimbledon, in those heady League One days when newly-installed boss Parkinson appeared to have cured the club’s travel sickness. Since then it has been eight draws and 32 defeats.
Ameobi flashed one shot at goal after the restart. That was as good as it got, however, and Blackburn were soon on the prowl again.
Armstrong will claim he never got a real chance to show what he could do at Bolton. He arrived with promise from Newcastle United on loan but did not look happy playing from a wide position, nor especially ingratiated with Parkinson’s direct tactics.
Here, Tony Mowbray seems to be getting something more from the ex-England youth international.
And after a couple of very reasonable shots had been blocked he finally got just rewards for persistence as Dack turned Luca Connell, Rothwell’s shot was saved by Ben Alnwick and Armstrong was there to pick up the pieces.
The mood of the travelling fans turned from playful to frustrated – and the vitriol began to turn towards the manager and the dugout louder than ever before.
Rovers looked capable of scoring in each attack from there on in. Brereton should definitely have helped himself to a second, stabbing over the bar from close range and having another effort blocked by the over-worked Alnwick.
Sub Dan Butterworth also angled a shot inches wide of the post with the former Forest man lurking at the far post.
Connolly’s attempted lob from 40 yards, which drifted over the bar, was as close as Wanderers came to distracting their fans from their songbook, although there was a heartfelt show of appreciation for Harry Brockbank as he was replaced by debutant Joe Muscatt towards the end.
The game petered out without further incident, Blackburn content to take one of the most comfortable Lancashire derby victories they have had in recent memory.
Players gestured apologetically to the travelling fans on their way off the pitch, in what has become a well-worn walk of shame.
You wonder how many of them will still be here when the season kicks off in League One?
Subs: Wilson 4, 11 (for Beevers), Murphy 5, 39 (for Williams), Muscatt 75 (for Brockbank).
Not used: B Williams, Oztumer, Buckley, Magennis.
Rovers (4-2-3-1): Leutwiler; Nyambe, Williams, Lenihan, Bell; Rodwell, Travis; Brereton, Dack, Rothwell; Armstrong.
Subs: Bennett 46 (for Travis), Buckley 64 (for Rodwell), Buterworth 75 (for Dack).
Not used: Raya, Graham, Mulgrew.
Referee: Andy Woolmer (Northampton) – 7/10.
Attendance: 14,495 (1,163).