Pitman was sold to Bristol by Howe last summer while he was still Bournemouth manager.
"Brett is the last man you want to see receive the ball in that sort of position as an opposing manager.
"I have seen him score goals like that many times. I never wanted to sell him at Bournemouth and I'm sure he will go on to be an even bigger force in the Championship."
Howe had few complaints about the result. "We were better than in our previous match, but still disappointing at both ends of the pitch," he said.
"I thought we controlled possession for long periods in the second half, but didn't create much.
"It's an understatement to say that this is a bad time in the season to be dropping points and one from a possible nine is not good enough. We need to work hard during the international break, which may well have come at a good time for us."
It was City's fifth win in six games and boss Keith Millen said: "It was a complete performance from the team. Everyone worked hard and we thoroughly deserved the points.
"It was important that we bounced back quickly after defeat at Norwich and I freshened the side up with a few changes.
"Both Brett and Nicky are proven goalscorers. With Nicky having missed so much of the season through injury, it was the first time they had started together and the partnership looks promising.
"We were dangerous down both flanks and used the ball better than in recent games, making sure our wingers received it in more advanced positions.
"We have made it clear we are not content with becoming safe from relegation. We want to finish as high as possible in the table and certainly in the top half."