Stoke no match for Rovers in 1-2 City defeat

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This time Stoke can’t come back from 0-1 down, despite O’Neill throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Rovers in the last half-hour. A late equaliser followed by Rovers catching City on the break is the headline. Maybe the kitchen sink might have done better. Here’s how it unfolded in real time:
The sun shines on the brave…So, how brave are these two sides? Well, the sun shines, but to play in this cold you have to be brave! Stoke with 2 wins in 3, and Rovers with 3 wins in 4 (only beaten by Leeds). Good grief, this could be a lively one…more lively than the Cardiff damp squid of a defeat. James McClean returns from suspension, but the choice of Sam Vokes up front is a bit hopeful. “We might have a regular goalscorer in our midst,” claims Michael O’Neill. Oh yes? Who’s that then?
1.44 Already 2 fouls on Allen! Clearly got it in for him.
4.50 Vokes is winning balls in the air! Mind you, Sam is up against the beanpole that is Adarabioyo
12.15 0-1 !! Rovers wait for their moment, and from a corner the ball ricochets around the 6 yard box till Bradley Dack scoops home. Welcome to Snafu Stoke, Michael.
22.25 As Carter-Vickers slices a shot/cross into the stand, it shows how out-classed Stoke are all over the pitch by Rovers. Sam Vokes looks lost and McClean thwarted, and despite City having 5 midfielders, it’s all Blackburn.
26.55 Woods wants to take a throw 20 yards behind where it went out, but the ref is having none of it. Everybody reaches for their rule book…
31.05 A half chance wakes crowd, but Ince’s header from McClean’s cross is wayward. Nothing to sing about.
42.08 Woods is everywhere. Can’t say he’s achieving much, but he’s everywhere. one corking cross though.
HT Stoke 0 Better Side 1
46.11 Ince hits a rocket…just wide, unsurprisingly. Stoke out fighting.
48.30 Vokes header brings off a save from Walton! These guys have been well-paid spectators up until now. Stoke desperately trying to rattle Rovers’ cage.
Attendance is 22,292.
54.30 Both Allen & Ward caught on the ball, both thinking they’re playing at a level where they have more time.
62.00 Diouf on for McClean…..No sorry, the announcer got it wrong, it’s Ince who’s off!, and Hogan on for Woods! Immediately Adarabioyo slices a ball over his bar!
here.
66.10 Suddenly everyone’s taking shots, although they’re all deflected and wide.
68.00 McClean robs his marker, but Hogan can’t quite finish off the cross.
70.09 Vokes can’t convert Diouf’s cross! Just wide. Diouf clearly sees himself as the new Tom Ince…
72.40 Ref falls over, and thus fails to see a Stoke foul. All comes to nothing, though.
77.09 Nick Powell on for Stephen Ward. It’s a crazy day at sea here! O’Neill lobs everyone forward.
78.58 Powell, Vokes and Hogan set up Diouf on goal, but his 2 attempts are somehow cleared, as is the corner.
79.50 1-1 !!!! The subsequent corner is bundled home, claimed by Scott Hogan…not so sure from replay! probably an own-goal by Dack!
83.03 Nick Powell blasts the ball out and then claims the throw! And he gets it!
83.43 1-2 !!! Excellent goal from Rovers, catching Stoke on the break. Sub Sam Gallagher gets on the end of a great run & cross by other sub Bennett.
90+4 Stoke out of steam. FT City 1 Rovers 2.