Rooney rocks Brighton
30th April 2006 1.30pm
Adam Rooney marked the end of Brighton’s stay in the Championship by putting three past the Seagulls as the Potters romped home comfortable victors on the final day of the season.
It was a day of firsts and lasts for Stoke:
First hat-trick for the 18 year old in only his second start for the first team
First goal for Peter Sweeney
First time Stoke have hit five goals this season
Last game for manager, Johan Boskamp
This performance really sums up this Stoke City squad this season, who have beaten many teams on their travels but then allowed themselves to be outperformed far too many times at the Brit.
Only Reading, Sheffield United and Watford have more away wins, whilst only Millwall and Brighton have less home wins under their belts.
Still, we mustn’t take anything away from this Stoke team today, who managed to, arguably, turn in their best performance of the season. The match was only six minutes old when Rooney opened the scoring from nine yards after Mamady Sidibe had put the ball neatly through to the youngster for his second goal of the season whilst the Brighton defenders were appealing in vain for offside.
Midway through the first half, it was that man Rooney again who doubled the Stoke lead, side footing the ball into an empty net after a good cross from Josip Skoko. The third goal arrived just before half time, after Darel Russell had a great shot bouncing back off the crossbar from where Sidibe just had to knock the ball into the net for 3-0.
Stoke continued the second half as they had finished the first and it was on the 62nd minute when Rooney completed his hat-trick with a thunderous shot from 12 yards for his third and Stoke’s fourth.
Rooney was taken off after eighty minutes to be replaced by Peter Sweeney and it was the sub himself who netted his first goal for the club after only a few minutes on the field. Brighton defender, Peter Reid stumbled allowing Sweeney the put the ball past the Brighton keeper for Stoke’s fifth of the game.
Another Stoke youngster, Rob Garrett, was brought for his first appearance in place of Dave Brammer and five minutes from time, Brighton sneaked a consolation goal from sub, Doug Loft. Garrett could even have scored his first in the final seconds but for a well placed Brighton foot keeping the ball out of the net.
Johan Boskamp ended his short, but memorable time in the Potteries with the win he had asked for and afterwards paid tribute to the Stoke faithful: 'Before the game I was thinking to myself, these people never let the club down. In all the games, the fans stay behind the team, never let them down and never let me down. They are fantastic and I shall always remember them”
For many reasons (mostly good), Johan, we’ll always remember you!
Brighton: Henderson, Reid, Hinshelwood, Butters, Lynch, Nicolas, Carpenter, Carole, Frutos (Loft 58), Noel-Williams, Kazim-Richards.
Subs not used: Chaigneau, Mayo, El-Abd, Gatting.
Stoke: Simonsen, Duberry, Hill, Junior, Buxton, Brammer (Garrett 70), Russell, Skoko (Kopteff 83), Dickinson, Rooney (Sweeney 80), Sidibe.
Subs not used: de Goey, Broomes.