Going in to the game I was hoping we could build on the result at Old Trafford and record our first back to back wins under Steve Kean, but it was not to be.
A mixture of luck and sloppy defending gifted Stoke a 2-1 win and allowed them to leave Blackburn with all three points.
We started the game brightly, taking the game to Stoke. Chris Samba had our first real chance, when he headed Pedersen’s corner on to the crossbar. The ball was then cleared for another corner, this time Samba headed the ball home, but it was ruled out for a controversial pull on Goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen by striker Yakubu.
It was a very bright start from Rovers, but we paid the price when Dean Whitehead’s long ball found Peter Crouch unmarked in the area, who was able to calmly control the ball and ease it past the helpless Mark Bunn. An underserved lead for Stoke.
We carried on playing our football, but ironically our main threat was going to come from a set-piece which Stoke, usually very organised, seemed uncomfortable dealing with especially “the beast” Chris Samba. He provided our main threat and came closest to grabbing an equaliser when he saw his low strike palmed away by Sorensen for a corner.
As we piled on the pressure, we always looked vulnerable on the counter attack, and so it proved. Etherington was allowed to waltz his way 60 yards down the wing with no real challenge and provide a pinpoint cross for Peter Crouch to grab his second of the game and double the away teams lead. Ewood Park was silenced and Stoke had arguably an undeserved 2-0 lead going in to the 2nd half.
As the second half began I expected the blues to come out all guns blazing, but it never happened. We looked lacklustre and there was no real spark from any of the players. Petrovic looked out of his depth in the midfield, and could not seem to pick an effective forward pass and David Dunn looked static and uninterested.
Our hopes were raised on the 60th minute, substitute David Goodwillie was able to scramble the ball over the line from a Pedersen corner, earning himself his first ever English Premier League goal, about time.
The goal seemed to spark us back in to life, dominating possession but with no real end product.
Our final chance fell 12 minutes from time, Samba flicked on a long throw to Yakubu who fired his shot against Woodgate on the line. It just was not to be our day.
The defeat leaves us in 19th position, three points from safety. It really is desperate times at Rovers, and if Venky’s do not invest any major funds in the transfer window then we have no chance at all of getting ourselves out of the mess we are in.
We need at least two defenders, preferably wing backs. Jason Lowe has not disgraced himself at all this season, playing out of position at right back, but today he made a costly error which lead to the winning goal. We also need another midfielder someone with a creative spark, Nzonzi does a fantastic job spreading the play and retaining possession, but as I stated Petrovic is simply not up to the standards of the Premier League and in my eyes David Dunn does not have what it takes to make any real impact now a days.