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Match Report

English FA Cup

Saturday, 14 February 2015,

Blackburn
4
-
Full Time
Live
-
1
Stoke
  • Kickoff: 16:00 BST
  • Stadium: Ewood Park
  • Referee: -
  • Stadium: Ewood Park
  • Attendance: 13,934
  • 36' Joshua King
  • 46' Rudy Gestede - pen
  • 50' Joshua King
  • 55' Joshua King
  • 10' Peter Crouch
  • 46' Geoff Cameron

Blackburn Rovers

Half time

Full time

Stoke City

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Cup specialist Taylor aims to shine

Chris Taylor was part of the Millwall team that denied Blackburn a place at Wembley two years ago, now he is determined to help Rovers plot an FA Cup route to the national stadium.

The midfielder is forging a reputation as something of a cup specialist at Ewood Park having scored all three of his goals this season in the two victories over Charlton and Swansea in the third and fourth rounds.

The 28-year-old is likely to step into the breach again against Stoke on Saturday due to the absence of the cup-tied Jay Spearing and injured pair Jason Lowe and David Dunn - and Taylor is fully aware that Gary Bowyer's men will be just one round away from a Wembley trip if they can oust their Barclays Premier League opponents.

Taylor was involved the last time Blackburn got exceedingly close to a Wembley FA Cup semi-final but it was his Millwall, rather than many of his current team-mates, who enjoyed the day out against Wigan in April 2013 after winning a quarter-final replay in east Lancashire.

"I don't really talk about it too much, to be honest," Taylor said with a wry smile.

Wigan would beat Taylor's Lions and go on to cause one of the greatest FA Cup final shocks in history when they defeated Manchester City.

This year, with City and Jose Mourinho's Chelsea already among the early casualties, a surprise name may once again be etched on to the famous trophy come May.

Taylor explained: "It's not just Millwall (in 2013), you see teams like Bradford over the last year or two and Sheffield United have had a few good cup runs.

"The lower-league teams do seem to be kicking on a little bit now in in the cup. I don't know if the big boys are taking it a little less seriously as they have other priorities or the standard of play from the lower leagues is getting better.

"Certainly teams are going on a run from the lower league."

Oldham-born Taylor, who has only ever played for his hometown club, the Lions and Rovers, has never experienced top-flight football or the international scene like plenty of his Blackburn colleagues.

Yet he can point to that day out at Wembley, which he still harbours fond memories of, as a lasting memory in his career.

"It's every lad's dream," he added. "Some of the lads have played at Wembley - a few have, a few haven't.

"We're close, although we're still quite far away. But if you were to get there it's a fantastic feeling and one I'd love to do again."

Taylor's likely inclusion in the starting XI could be one of a number of changes made by boss Bowyer.

Back-up goalkeeper Simon Eastwood has been preferred to Jason Steele in this competition while top scorer Rudy Gestede, who remained at Rovers when the transfer window closed despite being heavily linked with Hull and Crystal Palace, came off the bench to set up the winner against Rotherham in midweek to push his claims for a starting berth.

Stoke had seven senior players unavailable for Wednesday's 4-1 Barclays Premier League loss to Manchester City at the Britannia Stadium due to fitness problems.

Erik Pieters (hernia) and Jonathan Walters (kneee) could return on Saturday, but defenders Ryan Shawcross (back) and Marc Wilson (groin) and midfielder Stephen Ireland (hamstring) are not yet ready to make their returns from injury. Forwards Bojan Krkic and Peter Odemwingie (both knee) are on the long-term casualty list.

Hughes believes the nature of the last couple of months, in which Stoke have also faced the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal in a hectic fixture schedule, has taken an inevitable toll on his group.

He said: "They all seem to have come at the same time of the season.

"And maybe it is not a coincidence, because we have just come through a really tough period for games in terms of the Christmas schedule and the quality of our opposition.

"Maybe we have had a little bit of reaction - we've come through that period with a good number of points, but along the way we have lost a few players.

"The key on Wednesday was not losing any more, and it looks like that was the case.

"We don't really want to be picking up any more injuries, and the longer we are able to steer clear, the better."

91'+3

Adam Henley clears the ball from danger.

91'+3

Shane Duffy clears the ball from danger.

91'+3

Mame Diouf crosses the ball.

91'+2

Throw-in: Phillip Bardsley takes it (Defending)

91'+1

Simon Eastwood (Blackburn Rovers) Free Kick at 92'

91'+1

Charlie Adam commits a foul on Matthew Kilgallon resulting on a free kick for Blackburn Rovers

91'+1

Matthew Kilgallon clears the ball from danger.

91'+1

Adam Henley clears the ball from danger.

91'

Jack Butland (Stoke City) Free Kick at 91'

91'

Rudy Gestede commits a foul on Jack Butland resulting on a free kick for Stoke City

91'

End of the game

91'

The referee has signaled the end of the second half

90'

Craig Conway crosses the ball.

90'

Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) Free Kick at 90'

90'

Steve Sidwell commits a foul on Craig Conway resulting on a free kick for Blackburn Rovers

90'

Tom Cairney crosses the ball.

90'

Tom Cairney (Blackburn Rovers) Free Kick at 90'

89'

Phillip Bardsley commits a foul on Luke Varney resulting on a free kick for Blackburn Rovers

89'

Throw-in: Adam Henley takes it (Attacking)

89'

Phillip Bardsley clears the ball from danger.

89'

Throw-in: Adam Henley takes it (Attacking)

88'

Steve Sidwell clears the ball from danger.

88'

Craig Conway crosses the ball.

88'

Throw-in: Marcus Olsson takes it (Attacking)

88'

Craig Conway crosses the ball.

88'

Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) Free Kick at 88'

86'

Glenn Whelan

86'

Glenn Whelan commits a foul on Craig Conway resulting on a free kick for Blackburn Rovers

85'

Jack Butland takes a long goal kick

85'

Craig Conway hits a good right footed shot, but it is off target. Outcome: miss right

85'

Shane Duffy (Blackburn Rovers) Free Kick at 84'

84'

Phillip Bardsley

84'

Phillip Bardsley commits a foul on Chris Taylor resulting on a free kick for Blackburn Rovers

83'

Jack Butland (Stoke City) Free Kick at 83'

83'

Rudy Gestede commits a foul on Philipp Wollscheid resulting on a free kick for Stoke City

82'

Matthew Kilgallon clears the ball from danger.

82'

Glenn Whelan (Stoke City) Free Kick at 81'

81'

Tom Cairney

81'

Tom Cairney commits a foul on Mame Diouf resulting on a free kick for Stoke City

81'

Matthew Kilgallon clears the ball from danger.

81'

Phillip Bardsley crosses the ball.

80'

Throw-in: Andy Wilkinson takes it (Attacking)

80'

Rudy Gestede clears the ball from danger.

80'

Charlie Adam (Stoke City) Free Kick at 80'

80'

Craig Conway commits a foul on Steve Sidwell resulting on a free kick for Stoke City

79'

Simon Eastwood takes a long goal kick

78'

Glenn Whelan crosses the ball.

78'

Throw-in: Phillip Bardsley takes it (Attacking)

78'

Blackburn Rovers makes a sub: Luke Varney enters for Joshua King. Reason: Tactical

76'

Matthew Kilgallon clears the ball from danger.

76'

Matthew Kilgallon blocks the shot

76'

Peter Crouch hits a good left footed shot, but it is off target. Outcome: blocked

76'

Shane Duffy clears the ball from danger.

75'

Shane Duffy clears the ball from danger.

75'

Charlie Adam crosses the ball.

74'

Shane Duffy clears the ball from danger.

73'

Throw-in: Marcus Olsson takes it (Attacking)

73'

Throw-in: Andy Wilkinson takes it (Defending)

72'

Matthew Kilgallon clears the ball from danger.

72'

Philipp Wollscheid clears the ball from danger.

72'

Matthew Kilgallon clears the ball from danger.

72'

Simon Eastwood takes a long goal kick

71'

Mame Diouf hits a good left footed shot, but it is off target. Outcome: miss left

71'

Shane Duffy clears the ball from danger.

71'

Phillip Bardsley clears the ball from danger.

71'

Craig Conway crosses the ball.

71'

Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) Free Kick at 71'

71'

Philipp Wollscheid commits a foul on Joshua King resulting on a free kick for Blackburn Rovers

70'

Throw-in: Marcus Olsson takes it (Attacking)

70'

Jack Butland takes a long goal kick

70'

Corry Evans hits a good left footed shot, but it is off target. Outcome: miss right

70'

Steven N'Zonzi clears the ball from danger.

69'

Throw-in: Andy Wilkinson takes it (Attacking)

69'

Matthew Kilgallon clears the ball from danger.

68'

Jack Butland takes a long goal kick

68'

Throw-in: Marcus Olsson takes it (Attacking)

67'

Jack Butland takes a long goal kick

67'

Stoke City makes a sub: Charlie Adam enters for Victor Moses. Reason: Tactical

67'

Steven N'Zonzi clears the ball from danger.

67'

Jack Butland makes the save (Parry)

67'

Rudy Gestede hits a good header. Outcome: save

67'

Marcus Olsson crosses the ball.

66'

Throw-in: Adam Henley takes it (Defending)

66'

Adam Henley clears the ball from danger.

66'

Throw-in: Phillip Bardsley takes it (Attacking)

65'

Tom Cairney clears the ball from danger.

65'

Jack Butland (Stoke City) Free Kick at 65'

65'

Rudy Gestede commits a foul on Steven N'Zonzi resulting on a free kick for Stoke City

64'

Matthew Kilgallon (Blackburn Rovers) Free Kick at 64'

64'

Mame Diouf commits a foul on Marcus Olsson resulting on a free kick for Blackburn Rovers

63'

Jack Butland makes the save (Catch)

63'

Corry Evans hits a good right footed shot. Outcome: save

62'

Craig Conway crosses the ball.

62'

Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) Free Kick at 62'

62'

Philipp Wollscheid commits a foul on Joshua King resulting on a free kick for Blackburn Rovers

61'

Andy Wilkinson clears the ball from danger.

61'

Craig Conway crosses the ball.

61'

Throw-in: Marcus Olsson takes it (Attacking)

61'

Steven N'Zonzi clears the ball from danger.

61'

Marcus Olsson crosses the ball.

60'

Steve Sidwell (Stoke City) Free Kick at 60'

60'

Corry Evans

60'

Corry Evans commits a foul on Mame Diouf resulting on a free kick for Stoke City

58'

Throw-in: Marcus Olsson takes it (Defending)

55'

4 - 1

Goal!! Joshua King hits a right footed shot to the lower right corner from the centre penalty area and scores!! Blackburn Rovers now leads 4 - 1

55'

Joshua King hits a good right footed shot. Outcome: goal

55'

That last goal was assisted by Rudy Gestede

55'

Jack Butland (Stoke City) Free Kick at 55'

55'

Offside called on Craig Conway

54'

Throw-in: Marcus Olsson takes it (Attacking)

54'

Simon Eastwood takes a long goal kick

53'

Matthew Kilgallon clears the ball from danger.

53'

Throw-in: Andy Wilkinson takes it (Attacking)

53'

Matthew Kilgallon clears the ball from danger.

53'

Andy Wilkinson crosses the ball.

53'

Shane Duffy clears the ball from danger.

52'

Shane Duffy clears the ball from danger.

52'

Stoke City makes a sub: Steve Sidwell enters for Marc Muniesa. Reason: Injury

50'

3 - 1

Goal!! Joshua King hits a right footed shot low through the middle from the left penalty area and scores!! Blackburn Rovers now leads 3 - 1

50'

Joshua King hits a good right footed shot. Outcome: goal

50'

That last goal was assisted by Rudy Gestede

50'

Matthew Kilgallon clears the ball from danger.

50'

Throw-in: Andy Wilkinson takes it (Attacking)

50'

Throw-in: Marcus Olsson takes it (Attacking)

50'

Philipp Wollscheid clears the ball from danger.

50'

Joshua King crosses the ball.

49'

Shane Duffy clears the ball from danger.

49'

Throw-in: Phillip Bardsley takes it (Attacking)

49'

Corry Evans clears the ball from danger.

49'

Phillip Bardsley crosses the ball.

49'

Shane Duffy clears the ball from danger.

48'

Shane Duffy clears the ball from danger.

48'

Shane Duffy clears the ball from danger.

48'

Victor Moses crosses the ball.

48'

Victor Moses (Stoke City) Free Kick at 48'

47'

Tom Cairney commits a foul on Glenn Whelan resulting on a free kick for Stoke City

47'

Shane Duffy clears the ball from danger.

47'

Jack Butland (Stoke City) Free Kick at 47'

47'

Offside called on Rudy Gestede

46'

Marc Muniesa clears the ball from danger.

46'

Simon Eastwood (Blackburn Rovers) Free Kick at 46'

46'

Steven N'Zonzi commits a foul on Tom Cairney resulting on a free kick for Blackburn Rovers

46'

Blackburn Rovers makes a sub: Corry Evans enters for Lee Williamson. Reason: Tactical

46'

Stoke City makes a sub: Andy Wilkinson enters for Marko Arnautovic. Reason: Tactical

46'

The second half is under way

46'+8

Throw-in: Glenn Whelan takes it (Attacking)

46'+7

Matthew Kilgallon clears the ball from danger.

46'+7

Philipp Wollscheid clears the ball from danger.

46'+7

Glenn Whelan clears the ball from danger.

46'+7

Matthew Kilgallon clears the ball from danger.

46'+6

2 - 1

Rudy Gestede hits the penalty kick with his right foot low through the middle and scores!!

46'+5

Geoff Cameron

46'+5

Geoff Cameron commits a foul on Joshua King resulting on a penalty for Blackburn Rovers

46'+5

Adam Henley crosses the ball.

46'+5

Throw-in: Adam Henley takes it (Attacking)

46'+5

Philipp Wollscheid clears the ball from danger.

46'+5

Phillip Bardsley blocks the shot

46'+5

Chris Taylor hits a good right footed shot, but it is off target. Outcome: blocked

46'+4

Philipp Wollscheid clears the ball from danger.

46'+3

Simon Eastwood (Blackburn Rovers) Free Kick at 49'

46'+3

Offside called on Peter Crouch

46'+2

Offside called on Craig Conway

46'+2

Jack Butland takes a long goal kick

46'+2

Shane Duffy hits a good header, but it is off target. Outcome: over bar

46'+2

Shane Duffy (Blackburn Rovers) Free Kick at 48'

46'+1

Mame Diouf commits a foul on Lee Williamson resulting on a free kick for Blackburn Rovers

46'+1

Throw-in: Adam Henley takes it (Attacking)

46'

Throw-in: Phillip Bardsley takes it (Attacking)

46'

Throw-in: Adam Henley takes it (Defending)

46'

Marko Arnautovic crosses the ball.

46'

The referee has signaled the end of the first half

44'

Philipp Wollscheid clears the ball from danger.

44'

Jack Butland takes a long goal kick

44'

Rudy Gestede hits a right footed shot, but it is off target. Outcome: miss right

44'

Joshua King crosses the ball.

43'

Matthew Kilgallon clears the ball from danger.

43'

Chris Taylor crosses the ball.

43'

Glenn Whelan clears the ball from danger.

43'

Throw-in: Adam Henley takes it (Attacking)

43'

Marc Muniesa clears the ball from danger.

42'

Shane Duffy clears the ball from danger.

41'

Craig Conway crosses the ball.

41'

Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) Free Kick at 41'

41'

Philipp Wollscheid

41'

Philipp Wollscheid commits a foul on Joshua King resulting on a free kick for Blackburn Rovers

41'

Throw-in: Marcus Olsson takes it (Defending)

40'

Lee Williamson clears the ball from danger.

40'

Jack Butland takes a long goal kick

39'

Marcus Olsson (Blackburn Rovers) Free Kick at 39'

39'

Marko Arnautovic commits a foul on Marcus Olsson resulting on a free kick for Blackburn Rovers

39'

Phillip Bardsley clears the ball from danger.

39'

Throw-in: Adam Henley takes it (Attacking)

38'

Philipp Wollscheid clears the ball from danger.

38'

Shane Duffy clears the ball from danger.

37'

Tom Cairney clears the ball from danger.

37'

Shane Duffy clears the ball from danger.

36'

1 - 1

Goal!! Joshua King hits a header to the upper left corner from the centre 6 yard and scores!! The game is now tied at 1

36'

Joshua King hits a good header. Outcome: goal

36'

That last goal was assisted by Shane Duffy (Pass from Centre Penalty Area)

35'

Phillip Bardsley clears the ball from danger.

35'

Marcus Olsson crosses the ball.

35'

Lee Williamson blocks the shot

35'

Steven N'Zonzi hits a good right footed shot, but it is off target. Outcome: blocked

35'

Lee Williamson clears the ball from danger.

35'

Victor Moses crosses the ball.

35'

Chris Taylor clears the ball from danger.

35'

Victor Moses crosses the ball.

34'

Jack Butland takes a long goal kick

34'

Joshua King hits a good header, but it is off target. Outcome: miss right

34'

Marcus Olsson crosses the ball.

34'

Geoff Cameron clears the ball from danger.

33'

Marc Muniesa clears the ball from danger.

33'

Marc Muniesa clears the ball from danger.

33'

Phillip Bardsley clears the ball from danger.

32'

Joshua King crosses the ball.

32'

Philipp Wollscheid clears the ball from danger.

32'

Throw-in: Geoff Cameron takes it (Defending)

31'

Phillip Bardsley clears the ball from danger.

31'

Matthew Kilgallon clears the ball from danger.

31'

Geoff Cameron crosses the ball.

30'

Throw-in: Geoff Cameron takes it (Attacking)

30'

Matthew Kilgallon clears the ball from danger.

30'

Throw-in: Geoff Cameron takes it (Attacking)

29'

Marc Muniesa clears the ball from danger.

29'

Shane Duffy clears the ball from danger.

29'

Jack Butland (Stoke City) Free Kick at 29'

28'

Chris Taylor commits a foul on Phillip Bardsley resulting on a free kick for Stoke City

28'

Throw-in: Adam Henley takes it (Attacking)

28'

Marc Muniesa clears the ball from danger.

28'

Simon Eastwood takes a long goal kick

27'

Mame Diouf hits a good left footed shot, but it is off target. Outcome: over bar

27'

Simon Eastwood makes the save (Fumble)

27'

Victor Moses hits an impressive right footed shot. Outcome: save

27'

Throw-in: Geoff Cameron takes it (Attacking)

27'

Shane Duffy clears the ball from danger.

27'

Jack Butland takes a long goal kick

26'

Throw-in: Marcus Olsson takes it (Defending)

26'

Shane Duffy clears the ball from danger.

25'

Matthew Kilgallon clears the ball from danger.

25'

Jack Butland takes a long goal kick

24'

Marko Arnautovic clears the ball from danger.

24'

Glenn Whelan clears the ball from danger.

24'

Tom Cairney crosses the ball.

24'

Tom Cairney (Blackburn Rovers) Free Kick at 24'

23'

Glenn Whelan commits a foul on Craig Conway resulting on a free kick for Blackburn Rovers

23'

Glenn Whelan clears the ball from danger.

22'

Simon Eastwood (Blackburn Rovers) Free Kick at 22'

22'

Mame Diouf

22'

Mame Diouf commits a foul on Shane Duffy resulting on a free kick for Blackburn Rovers

21'

Jack Butland takes a long goal kick

21'

Joshua King hits an impressive right footed shot, but it is off target. Outcome: hit bar

21'

Marc Muniesa clears the ball from danger.

21'

Craig Conway crosses the ball.

21'

Philipp Wollscheid clears the ball from danger.

21'

Throw-in: Marcus Olsson takes it (Attacking)

21'

Throw-in: Marcus Olsson takes it (Attacking)

20'

Mame Diouf clears the ball from danger.

20'

Mame Diouf clears the ball from danger.

20'

Peter Crouch clears the ball from danger.

20'

Marc Muniesa clears the ball from danger.

19'

Throw-in: Geoff Cameron takes it (Attacking)

18'

Glenn Whelan (Stoke City) Free Kick at 18'

18'

Lee Williamson

18'

Lee Williamson commits a foul on Mame Diouf resulting on a free kick for Stoke City

17'

Simon Eastwood takes a long goal kick

17'

Marko Arnautovic hits a good right footed shot, but it is off target. Outcome: miss right

17'

Shane Duffy clears the ball from danger.

16'

Jack Butland (Stoke City) Free Kick at 16'

16'

Lee Williamson commits a foul on Steven N'Zonzi resulting on a free kick for Stoke City

16'

Marc Muniesa clears the ball from danger.

16'

Simon Eastwood takes a long goal kick

15'

Throw-in: Phillip Bardsley takes it (Attacking)

15'

Joshua King clears the ball from danger.

14'

Simon Eastwood makes the save (Parry)

14'

Mame Diouf hits a good left footed shot. Outcome: save

14'

Jack Butland (Stoke City) Free Kick at 14'

11'

Rudy Gestede commits a foul on Steven N'Zonzi resulting on a free kick for Stoke City

11'

Blackburn Rovers makes a sub: Craig Conway enters for Ben Marshall. Reason: Injury

10'

0 - 1

Goal!! Peter Crouch hits a right footed shot high through the middle from the centre 6 yard and scores!! Stoke City now leads 1 - 0

10'

Peter Crouch hits a good right footed shot. Outcome: goal

10'

Marcus Olsson clears the ball from danger.

9'

Mame Diouf crosses the ball.

9'

Phillip Bardsley crosses the ball.

9'

Adam Henley clears the ball from danger.

9'

Throw-in: Geoff Cameron takes it (Attacking)

8'

Marcus Olsson clears the ball from danger.

8'

Shane Duffy clears the ball from danger.

8'

Marko Arnautovic crosses the ball.

8'

Marcus Olsson clears the ball from danger.

8'

Marcus Olsson clears the ball from danger.

8'

Steven N'Zonzi crosses the ball.

8'

Throw-in: Geoff Cameron takes it (Attacking)

8'

Marcus Olsson clears the ball from danger.

8'

Jack Butland (Stoke City) Free Kick at 8'

7'

Offside called on Joshua King

7'

Shane Duffy clears the ball from danger.

7'

Philipp Wollscheid clears the ball from danger.

7'

Simon Eastwood (Blackburn Rovers) Free Kick at 7'

5'

Mame Diouf commits a foul on Marcus Olsson resulting on a free kick for Blackburn Rovers

4'

Throw-in: Chris Taylor takes it (Attacking)

4'

Phillip Bardsley clears the ball from danger.

4'

Simon Eastwood (Blackburn Rovers) Free Kick at 4'

4'

Glenn Whelan commits a foul on Lee Williamson resulting on a free kick for Blackburn Rovers

4'

Matthew Kilgallon clears the ball from danger.

3'

Steven N'Zonzi (Stoke City) Free Kick at 3'

3'

Lee Williamson commits a foul on Mame Diouf resulting on a free kick for Stoke City

3'

Throw-in: Marcus Olsson takes it (Defending)

3'

Jack Butland (Stoke City) Free Kick at 3'

1'

Ben Marshall commits a foul on Geoff Cameron resulting on a free kick for Stoke City

1'

Philipp Wollscheid clears the ball from danger.

1'

Game on!

Show all commentary

Possession

45%
55%
  • Blackburn Rovers
  • Stoke City

Shots

15
9

Shots on target

8
4

Fouls

13
17

Corners

0
0

Yellow Cards

3
4

Red Cards

0
1

Head to Head

Blackburn4 - 1Stoke
Blackburn1 - 2Stoke
Stoke3 - 1Blackburn
Blackburn0 - 2Stoke
Stoke1 - 0Blackburn
Stoke3 - 0Blackburn

Blackburn

  • 13Simon Eastwood
  • 22Shane Duffy
  • 14Marcus Olsson
  • 2Adam Henley
  • 4Matthew Kilgallon
  • 19Chris Taylor
  • 12Ben Marshall
  • -> Craig Conway
  • 10Tom Cairney
  • 17Lee Williamson
  • -> Corry Evans
  • 39Rudy Gestede
  • 7Joshua King
  • -> Luke Varney
  • Subs
  • 5Grant Hanley
  • 11Jordan Rhodes
  • 3Tommy Spurr
  • 30Jason Steele

Stoke

  • 22Jack Butland
  • 5Marc Muniesa
  • -> Steve Sidwell
  • 2Phillip Bardsley
  • 26Philipp Wollscheid
  • 20Geoff Cameron
  • 10Marko Arnautovic
  • -> Andy Wilkinson
  • 13Victor Moses
  • -> Charlie Adam
  • 15Steven N'Zonzi
  • 18Mame Diouf
  • 6Glenn Whelan
  • 25Peter Crouch
  • Subs
  • 23Dionatan Teixeira
  • 8Wilson Palacios
  • 29Thomas Sorensen
  • 34Oliver Shenton

Stoke knocked out of FA Cup as Josh King scores Blackburn hat trick

Ten-man Stoke suffered FA Cup embarrassment at Ewood Park as they were torn apart 4-1 by a second-string Blackburn side with Josh King, one of those fringe players, scoring a hat trick.

The 23-year-old, on only his 14th appearance this season and with just one league goal to his name, was a nuisance for a Potters defence which was severely hampered by the sending off of Geoff Cameron just before half-time.

Former Rovers boss Mark Hughes, a three-time FA Cup winner with Manchester United, could only watch as the ex-Red Devils youth team player sent his side crashing out of the competition and Rovers into the quarter-finals for the second time in three years.

King's poacher's finish equalised Peter Crouch's early goal before he won the penalty from which Rudy Gestede scored his 14th of the campaign when he was pulled back by Cameron.

The 23-year-old Norway internationa had caused the visitors problems with his blistering pace before the break but he enjoyed the extra space available against 10 men for 45 minutes and twice raced clear to score with virtually identical goals just 10 minutes into the second half.

King, who attracted some interest from struggling Barclays Premier League clubs in the January transfer window, is out of contract in the summer and if this performance cannot persuade manager Gary Bowyer to offer him a new deal then it will certainly have made someone else's mind up.

Despite beating another top-flight side Swansea at home in the last round, the priority for Rovers is to close the 10-point gap to the Sky Bet Championship places so, with that in mind, manager Gary Bowyer made eight changes from the midweek win over Rotherham.

Hughes, by contrast, was targeting some silverware and his only alteration from the team which lost to Manchester City on Wednesday was a switch of goalkeepers with England international Jack Butland replacing established number one Asmir Begovic.

There was a sense that Rovers were missing an opportunity and that was reflected in the crowd of 13,934, although that would have been more had police not objected to Stoke having an extra allocation of 2,000 on safety grounds.

When Crouch, on target for the third successive match, smashed home a 10th-minute Victor Moses corner it appeared the script was being followed.

Marko Arnautovic and Mame Biram Diouf had chances to put the game bed inside half-an-hour but let Rovers off the hook and King, at the heart of every real threat, took full advantage.

He should have equalised midway through the half with only the goalkeeper to beat but his shot grazed the crossbar and he also guided a header wide before, after 36 minutes, he deflected Shane Duffy's powerful header past Butland from close range.

Having created a good chance for Gestede after stripping Philipp Wollscheid for speed, only for his team-mate to fluff his shot, King was fouled by Cameron in the eight minutes of stoppage time for three lengthy injury breaks.

The Stoke defender was shown a straight red card by referee Anthony Taylor and Gestede did not make a mistake with his second chance from the spot.

Rovers ensured there would be no turnaround of momentum in the second half as King - had scored five goals in his previous 68 appearances - twice raced through to slot the ball past Butland in carbon-copy goals within five minutes of each other.

Stoke were deflated and dejected and home fans took great delight in taunting their former manager.

It all got a bit too much for some of the visiting supporters, some of whom became involved in a minor scuffle with stewards and police late in the game.

Hughes ordered his players to go acknowledge what was left of the travelling fans at the final whistle.

It looked more like an offer of an apology but that should not take anything away from another impressive cup performance from Blackburn.




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