BLACKBURN 0 STOKE CITY FC 0
Blackburn's recent record looked pretty impressive,the team having won its previous five home matches on the spin.A tough match in prospect then,but the Potters have been up for most challenges so far this season.
Some selection surprises from our manager.He decided to keep the back four from last week.Wilko thus kept his place even though Abdy Faye was available once again.Quite right too !Tony Pulis went for Liam Lawrence, more of an all round attacking threat, in preference to Rory Delap,and also Mama Sidibe for a not fully fit Beattie.
The match itself was far from a bore draw,goalless but certainly not drab.End to end football was the order of the day,with numerous chances at both ends to have won the match.Stoke's best chances fell to Dean Whitehead,Liam Lawrence,and latterly James Beattie - playing against one of his old clubs - who managed to sky a sitter on 75 minutes after coming on as sub.Throughout Etherington and Fuller maintained a real attacking threat,which the home team struggled to cope with.
Blackburn were denied by good saves from Tommy Sorensen,hit the post,and at the death could have snatched all the points but Samba contrived to head wide.
Given Blackburn's fine home record and excellent recent form this has to be seen as a good result for Stoke,yet tinged with a little disappointment because they were unable to convert any of the numerous chances that they created.Whatever, this was a big improvement on last season's 3-0 setback on the same ground.Again an indication of the progress that we have made.....still 9th,and equal on points with Liverpool !!