FULL-TIME: Blackburn Rovers 1 Stoke City 1

Jordan Rhodes heads Rovers in front

Jordan Rhodes heads Rovers in front

First published in Sport
Last updated
This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , Blackburn Rovers reporter

ON the day Ruben Rochina edged closer to heading out of the Ewood Park exit door it was another former Barcelona youngster who denied Rovers a win in their final pre-season friendly before Friday’s big Championship opener at home to Cardiff City.

Gary Bowyer’s side looked to be heading for victory after Jordan Rhodes put them in front with an expertly taken goal in the 37th minute.

But Mark Hughes’ Premier League outfit ensured honours ended even after Bojan Krkic, their big summer signing from the Nou Camp giants, equalised in the 68th minute.

Before the match it was confirmed that Rovers striker Rochina, who like Bojan came through the ranks at Barcelona, had passed a medical at Granada ahead of his proposed move to La Liga.

For the third friendly running Bowyer was deprived of both of his targetmen, Rudy Gestede and Chris Brown, with the former still feeling the effects of a sickness bug that spread throughout the squad last week – which has also claimed the victim of winger Ben Marshall – and the latter still sidelined by a knee injury.

That led Rovers boss Bowyer, who was also without the suspended Lee Williamson after his sending off in the midweek draw at Bury, to naming Tom Cairney in the ‘hole’ behind lone striker Rhodes.

And it was reigning player of the year Cairney who was heavily involved in an opening 10 minutes dominated by the hosts.

Firstly the midfielder, after dispossessing Charlie Adam 35 yards from goal, chipped wide when, with Asmir Begovic straying off his line, the chance was on, before he chipped a delightful pass into the path of fit-again right back Alex Baptiste.

Baptiste, back in the side along with fellow defender Matt Kilgallon after the pair sat it out against Bury, pulled the ball back for Josh King, whose goalbound shot was blocked.

Stoke, managed by former Rovers player and boss Hughes, then went on to enjoy their best spell of the half.

Peter Crouch headed against the base of the post following a right-wing cross from David Bardsley before Jonathan Walters blazed over after good work on the byline by another player who used to ply his trade at Ewood, Mame Biram Diouf.

Walters then returned the favour to Diouf but his first-time effort, which was heading for the top corner, was deflected behind by Grant Hanley.

But Rovers, with Cairney and Craig Conway to the fore, survived the scares and went in front eight minutes before the break.

Conway, drifting out to the right from his starting position on the left, was the creator and Rhodes the scorer.

Rhodes pointed to Conway to where he wanted the ball played.

And the winger delivered the cross to perfection allowing the striker to nip in ahead of the Potters centre backs and glance a lovely 10-yard header past Begovic and into the back of the net.

The visitors, whose line-up included a third former Rovers player in Stephen N’Zonzi, made three changes at half-time including the arrival of their big summer signing, Bojan.

But it was Walters who nearly brought them level straight after the restart when he flicked over a quickly taken corner from Adam.

Bojan then jinked his way to the edge of the box before pulling the ball back for former Rovers transfer target Adam to curl the ball over from 20 yards when he should have at least troubled the underworked Paul Robinson.

Stoke, playing a completely different way to the style developed under their former manager Tony Pulis, were controlling possession and threatening an equaliser.

And, after Rhodes arched a header over from a King cross, they equalised 22 minutes from time.

N’Zonzi found Bojan in space 20 yards from goal and he did the rest as he drilled a low left-footed drive into the bottom corner.

With the first league game of the campaign just around the corner Rovers responded by taking off Rhodes and captain Hanley.

The key duo had earlier required treatment before returning to the field after being on the end of hefty challenges.

Further substitutions followed and Rovers, playing in their new ‘turbo green’ away kit for the first time, could not find a winner.

But neither could Stoke thanks to a stunning one-handed save from Robinson to deny Robert Huth.

Rovers: Robinson, Baptiste (Songo’o 85), Hanley (Taylor 70), Kilgallon, Spurr (Olsson 72), King (Henley 87), Lowe, Evans (Dunn 76), Conway, Cairney (O’Connell 89), Rhodes (Varney 70). Sub not used: Kean.

Stoke: Begovic (Sorensen 46), Bardsley, Shawcross (Wilson 64), Huth, Muniesa (Pieters 74), Arnautovic (Ireland 46), N’Zonzi, Adam (Whelan 64), Walters, Diouf, Crouch (Bojan 46). Sub not used: Ward.

Comments (16)

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6:14pm Sun 3 Aug 14

aviitt says...

Was a pretty decent game. Other than a short spell midway through the second half we more than matched Stoke. Going forward we seem fine, played some excellent football and we've got no problem keeping the ball, creating chances etc but it's without the ball that concerns me. With better organisation and a more intense pressing game we could be a very strong side.
Was a pretty decent game. Other than a short spell midway through the second half we more than matched Stoke. Going forward we seem fine, played some excellent football and we've got no problem keeping the ball, creating chances etc but it's without the ball that concerns me. With better organisation and a more intense pressing game we could be a very strong side. aviitt
  • Score: 25

6:30pm Sun 3 Aug 14

inflightmagazine says...

Was a decent game really, cairney never lost the ball, and I have to say baptiste was a bit of a surprise today, some positive signs, got caught with the pull backs to the edge of the box a bit too much, but great ball in for the goal and a confident finish from rhodes. Looking forward to Friday
Was a decent game really, cairney never lost the ball, and I have to say baptiste was a bit of a surprise today, some positive signs, got caught with the pull backs to the edge of the box a bit too much, but great ball in for the goal and a confident finish from rhodes. Looking forward to Friday inflightmagazine
  • Score: 8

6:31pm Sun 3 Aug 14

RobH2O . says...

Good result. How about Cairney on a season long loan? We don't pay out cash you understand!
Good result. How about Cairney on a season long loan? We don't pay out cash you understand! RobH2O .
  • Score: -22

7:15pm Sun 3 Aug 14

greenscreener says...

A decent run around at 70% for both sides, nothing to get too excited about either way.

Hanley toiled a little in the first Half but there won't be many as difficult to play against as Crouch this season. Kilgallon looked solid and got in some important blocks. There were few chances first half but King, who had a decent game, went close with a back post header and Rhodes took his chance with a good glancing header when it came.
Cairney was the class act for Rovers but 'Baps' didn't look as comfortable as Lowe at right back. When he moved to centre back for a while in the second half he looked quite assured.
A messy second half saw a lot of subs, but taught us little, clearly Varney is not going to feature much and Dunny can still drop his shoulder and make things happen for 20 minutes.
An excellent save from Robbo but he was unable to stop the equaliser, a low hard drive into the bottom corner from outside the box.

Put Gestede into this starting eleven with Lowe at right back and you have a decent side for Friday Night ( sorry Bazzer, just my opinion).
A decent run around at 70% for both sides, nothing to get too excited about either way. Hanley toiled a little in the first Half but there won't be many as difficult to play against as Crouch this season. Kilgallon looked solid and got in some important blocks. There were few chances first half but King, who had a decent game, went close with a back post header and Rhodes took his chance with a good glancing header when it came. Cairney was the class act for Rovers but 'Baps' didn't look as comfortable as Lowe at right back. When he moved to centre back for a while in the second half he looked quite assured. A messy second half saw a lot of subs, but taught us little, clearly Varney is not going to feature much and Dunny can still drop his shoulder and make things happen for 20 minutes. An excellent save from Robbo but he was unable to stop the equaliser, a low hard drive into the bottom corner from outside the box. Put Gestede into this starting eleven with Lowe at right back and you have a decent side for Friday Night ( sorry Bazzer, just my opinion). greenscreener
  • Score: 24

7:17pm Sun 3 Aug 14

Scamp Kingsley says...

The odds for a score draw on Friday night must be ultra short. Still we started last season's championship live on sky with a 1-1 home draw with bolton, and look where that lead to!
The odds for a score draw on Friday night must be ultra short. Still we started last season's championship live on sky with a 1-1 home draw with bolton, and look where that lead to! Scamp Kingsley
  • Score: -17

7:42pm Sun 3 Aug 14

Bellypork says...

Ok game, nothing special, King fast but no end product, Hanley still fouling around the box, still short of a centre half and will get found out when we start on Friday.
Ok game, nothing special, King fast but no end product, Hanley still fouling around the box, still short of a centre half and will get found out when we start on Friday. Bellypork
  • Score: -11

8:51pm Sun 3 Aug 14

Bazzer says...

greenscreener wrote:
A decent run around at 70% for both sides, nothing to get too excited about either way. Hanley toiled a little in the first Half but there won't be many as difficult to play against as Crouch this season. Kilgallon looked solid and got in some important blocks. There were few chances first half but King, who had a decent game, went close with a back post header and Rhodes took his chance with a good glancing header when it came. Cairney was the class act for Rovers but 'Baps' didn't look as comfortable as Lowe at right back. When he moved to centre back for a while in the second half he looked quite assured. A messy second half saw a lot of subs, but taught us little, clearly Varney is not going to feature much and Dunny can still drop his shoulder and make things happen for 20 minutes. An excellent save from Robbo but he was unable to stop the equaliser, a low hard drive into the bottom corner from outside the box. Put Gestede into this starting eleven with Lowe at right back and you have a decent side for Friday Night ( sorry Bazzer, just my opinion).
That is much better, discussing Gary Bowyer's eleven, rather than your own. And a good overview of today's proceedings if I may say so!
[quote][p][bold]greenscreener[/bold] wrote: A decent run around at 70% for both sides, nothing to get too excited about either way. Hanley toiled a little in the first Half but there won't be many as difficult to play against as Crouch this season. Kilgallon looked solid and got in some important blocks. There were few chances first half but King, who had a decent game, went close with a back post header and Rhodes took his chance with a good glancing header when it came. Cairney was the class act for Rovers but 'Baps' didn't look as comfortable as Lowe at right back. When he moved to centre back for a while in the second half he looked quite assured. A messy second half saw a lot of subs, but taught us little, clearly Varney is not going to feature much and Dunny can still drop his shoulder and make things happen for 20 minutes. An excellent save from Robbo but he was unable to stop the equaliser, a low hard drive into the bottom corner from outside the box. Put Gestede into this starting eleven with Lowe at right back and you have a decent side for Friday Night ( sorry Bazzer, just my opinion).[/p][/quote]That is much better, discussing Gary Bowyer's eleven, rather than your own. And a good overview of today's proceedings if I may say so! Bazzer
  • Score: 11

7:55am Mon 4 Aug 14

SimonGarner'sNameSake says...

Hope Cardiff start with two up top like Stoke did. Lowe, Evans and Cairney all look confident. They couldn't handle our 3 in midfield, but it was a bit different when they matched us up. Baptiste may be the consistent right back we've craved. Like a few people have said nothing to get too excited about, but there were more positives than negatives. Loved Dunny's cameo appearance
Hope Cardiff start with two up top like Stoke did. Lowe, Evans and Cairney all look confident. They couldn't handle our 3 in midfield, but it was a bit different when they matched us up. Baptiste may be the consistent right back we've craved. Like a few people have said nothing to get too excited about, but there were more positives than negatives. Loved Dunny's cameo appearance SimonGarner'sNameSake
  • Score: 7

7:57am Mon 4 Aug 14

bburnrover says...

Well lets hope we can find the back of the net on Friday and start a winning mentality as all these draws seem to undermine the amount of effort we put in.
Well lets hope we can find the back of the net on Friday and start a winning mentality as all these draws seem to undermine the amount of effort we put in. bburnrover
  • Score: 6

9:09am Mon 4 Aug 14

owd nick says...

Couldn't get to the game, was playing golf, and an excellent round it was too!

Kept in touch on Twitter though, gave the impression it was a decent performance against what is now a pretty good Stoke side, we all know how Hughes likes his sides to play so it was a good test.

I understand Stoke got just a tad physical in the second half? LOL.

Also its good to see some positive comments from those who did get to the game.

Without wanting to wish summer away i am looking forward to Friday and also the away game at Blackpool, which due to work and family commitments will be my first away game for about 20 years.

A huge bonus being that Rovers won't be loosing Gestede in January, Benin were knocked out of the African Nations Cup yesterday and from the reports I have seen he and Marshall will be fit for Saturday.
Couldn't get to the game, was playing golf, and an excellent round it was too! Kept in touch on Twitter though, gave the impression it was a decent performance against what is now a pretty good Stoke side, we all know how Hughes likes his sides to play so it was a good test. I understand Stoke got just a tad physical in the second half? LOL. Also its good to see some positive comments from those who did get to the game. Without wanting to wish summer away i am looking forward to Friday and also the away game at Blackpool, which due to work and family commitments will be my first away game for about 20 years. A huge bonus being that Rovers won't be loosing Gestede in January, Benin were knocked out of the African Nations Cup yesterday and from the reports I have seen he and Marshall will be fit for Saturday. owd nick
  • Score: 4

9:09am Mon 4 Aug 14

owd nick says...

That should read "fit for Friday".
That should read "fit for Friday". owd nick
  • Score: 2

10:06am Mon 4 Aug 14

dangerous dave says...

owd nick wrote:
Couldn't get to the game, was playing golf, and an excellent round it was too!

Kept in touch on Twitter though, gave the impression it was a decent performance against what is now a pretty good Stoke side, we all know how Hughes likes his sides to play so it was a good test.

I understand Stoke got just a tad physical in the second half? LOL.

Also its good to see some positive comments from those who did get to the game.

Without wanting to wish summer away i am looking forward to Friday and also the away game at Blackpool, which due to work and family commitments will be my first away game for about 20 years.

A huge bonus being that Rovers won't be loosing Gestede in January, Benin were knocked out of the African Nations Cup yesterday and from the reports I have seen he and Marshall will be fit for Saturday.
odd that all your work and family commitments seem to fall on the days when rovers are playing away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OUT WITH THE COWBOYS AND INDIANS
[quote][p][bold]owd nick[/bold] wrote: Couldn't get to the game, was playing golf, and an excellent round it was too! Kept in touch on Twitter though, gave the impression it was a decent performance against what is now a pretty good Stoke side, we all know how Hughes likes his sides to play so it was a good test. I understand Stoke got just a tad physical in the second half? LOL. Also its good to see some positive comments from those who did get to the game. Without wanting to wish summer away i am looking forward to Friday and also the away game at Blackpool, which due to work and family commitments will be my first away game for about 20 years. A huge bonus being that Rovers won't be loosing Gestede in January, Benin were knocked out of the African Nations Cup yesterday and from the reports I have seen he and Marshall will be fit for Saturday.[/p][/quote]odd that all your work and family commitments seem to fall on the days when rovers are playing away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OUT WITH THE COWBOYS AND INDIANS dangerous dave
  • Score: -3

10:08am Mon 4 Aug 14

34 years says...

I see BBC News are saying that Leon Best is about to sign for Derby on a season long loan
I see BBC News are saying that Leon Best is about to sign for Derby on a season long loan 34 years
  • Score: 4

10:39am Mon 4 Aug 14

greenscreener says...

dangerous dave wrote:
owd nick wrote:
Couldn't get to the game, was playing golf, and an excellent round it was too!

Kept in touch on Twitter though, gave the impression it was a decent performance against what is now a pretty good Stoke side, we all know how Hughes likes his sides to play so it was a good test.

I understand Stoke got just a tad physical in the second half? LOL.

Also its good to see some positive comments from those who did get to the game.

Without wanting to wish summer away i am looking forward to Friday and also the away game at Blackpool, which due to work and family commitments will be my first away game for about 20 years.

A huge bonus being that Rovers won't be loosing Gestede in January, Benin were knocked out of the African Nations Cup yesterday and from the reports I have seen he and Marshall will be fit for Saturday.
odd that all your work and family commitments seem to fall on the days when rovers are playing away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OUT WITH THE COWBOYS AND INDIANS
What a shocker, Dave is confused by the concept of somebody 'having a life'.

YCMIU.
[quote][p][bold]dangerous dave[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]owd nick[/bold] wrote: Couldn't get to the game, was playing golf, and an excellent round it was too! Kept in touch on Twitter though, gave the impression it was a decent performance against what is now a pretty good Stoke side, we all know how Hughes likes his sides to play so it was a good test. I understand Stoke got just a tad physical in the second half? LOL. Also its good to see some positive comments from those who did get to the game. Without wanting to wish summer away i am looking forward to Friday and also the away game at Blackpool, which due to work and family commitments will be my first away game for about 20 years. A huge bonus being that Rovers won't be loosing Gestede in January, Benin were knocked out of the African Nations Cup yesterday and from the reports I have seen he and Marshall will be fit for Saturday.[/p][/quote]odd that all your work and family commitments seem to fall on the days when rovers are playing away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OUT WITH THE COWBOYS AND INDIANS[/p][/quote]What a shocker, Dave is confused by the concept of somebody 'having a life'. YCMIU. greenscreener
  • Score: 2

12:55pm Mon 4 Aug 14

owd nick says...

greenscreener wrote:
dangerous dave wrote:
owd nick wrote:
Couldn't get to the game, was playing golf, and an excellent round it was too!

Kept in touch on Twitter though, gave the impression it was a decent performance against what is now a pretty good Stoke side, we all know how Hughes likes his sides to play so it was a good test.

I understand Stoke got just a tad physical in the second half? LOL.

Also its good to see some positive comments from those who did get to the game.

Without wanting to wish summer away i am looking forward to Friday and also the away game at Blackpool, which due to work and family commitments will be my first away game for about 20 years.

A huge bonus being that Rovers won't be loosing Gestede in January, Benin were knocked out of the African Nations Cup yesterday and from the reports I have seen he and Marshall will be fit for Saturday.
odd that all your work and family commitments seem to fall on the days when rovers are playing away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OUT WITH THE COWBOYS AND INDIANS
What a shocker, Dave is confused by the concept of somebody 'having a life'.

YCMIU.
Or a total lack of understanding! :-)

In the 70's and 80's i used to follow them all over the place but it got more difficult in the 90's because of the jobs I did, and other interests I might add, I simply didn't have the spare time and got out of the habit.

However, I don't think I have missed more than 10 games at Ewood in 44 years, I missed an Arsenal game when I got married, the rest probably because i was on holiday.
[quote][p][bold]greenscreener[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]dangerous dave[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]owd nick[/bold] wrote: Couldn't get to the game, was playing golf, and an excellent round it was too! Kept in touch on Twitter though, gave the impression it was a decent performance against what is now a pretty good Stoke side, we all know how Hughes likes his sides to play so it was a good test. I understand Stoke got just a tad physical in the second half? LOL. Also its good to see some positive comments from those who did get to the game. Without wanting to wish summer away i am looking forward to Friday and also the away game at Blackpool, which due to work and family commitments will be my first away game for about 20 years. A huge bonus being that Rovers won't be loosing Gestede in January, Benin were knocked out of the African Nations Cup yesterday and from the reports I have seen he and Marshall will be fit for Saturday.[/p][/quote]odd that all your work and family commitments seem to fall on the days when rovers are playing away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OUT WITH THE COWBOYS AND INDIANS[/p][/quote]What a shocker, Dave is confused by the concept of somebody 'having a life'. YCMIU.[/p][/quote]Or a total lack of understanding! :-) In the 70's and 80's i used to follow them all over the place but it got more difficult in the 90's because of the jobs I did, and other interests I might add, I simply didn't have the spare time and got out of the habit. However, I don't think I have missed more than 10 games at Ewood in 44 years, I missed an Arsenal game when I got married, the rest probably because i was on holiday. owd nick
  • Score: 3

10:18pm Fri 8 Aug 14

rover-till-dudp says...

Well down Rovers and GB. Rovers dominated most of the game. Passing, movement, and ball control a joy to watch. Defense still a bit suspect, Lowe guilty of ball watching for Cardiff’s goal (what else is new). Prospects for the future look good. Special mention for Cairney, what a class act. Again, well done Blues, keep it up.
Well down Rovers and GB. Rovers dominated most of the game. Passing, movement, and ball control a joy to watch. Defense still a bit suspect, Lowe guilty of ball watching for Cardiff’s goal (what else is new). Prospects for the future look good. Special mention for Cairney, what a class act. Again, well done Blues, keep it up. rover-till-dudp
  • Score: 0

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