Valentine's massacre as King embarrasses Stoke
14th February 2015 3pm
Attendance: 13, 394
A Josh King hat-trick embarrassed ten men Stoke in the F.A. Cup and secured Blackburn Rovers` spot in the Quarter final of the competition.
King, who had only previously scored once all season, scored a first half header along with two identical goals in the second half to complete his hat-trick and help cancel out Peter Crouch`s early goal.
The Potters had Geoff Cameron sent off in first half stoppage time as Blackburn went in at half time in the lead following Rudy Gestede`s successful spot kick.
Mark Hughes` could only make one change to his starting eleven that lost 4-1 at the Britannia Stadium against Premier League champions Manchester City, whilst Blackburn made eight changes from their midweek Championship game.
Stoke started the brighter of the two teams and broke the deadlock after Peter Crouch managed to force the ball home in a crowded penalty area after a Victor Moses corner.
The Potters almost immediately doubled their lead when Marko Arnautovic latched onto a nice one two, but could only hit the side netting after finding acres of space in the penalty area.
The tie suddenly changed as Blackburn settled down in the game and started to produce some excellent football, which had the Potters defence chasing shadows at times.
Gary Bowyer`s men constantly exploited Stoke down their right hand side as the unorthodox Geoff Cameron was beaten numerous times, but the American wasn`t helped out by his teammates as Arnautovic failed to track back and Phillip Wollscheid was off the pace all game.
Josh King nearly levelled the scoring but could only flick the crossbar with a header after Wollscheid was outpaced on the right hand side again and the former Manchester United forward reacted quickest in the area.
King did level the game after Stoke failed to clear their lines from a corner once again as he flicked a header past Jack Butland.
Stoke almost instantly regained the lead but Arnautovic`s cross was just too high for Mame Biram Diouf on the far post.
Blackburn were to go into half time with a lead and an extra man as King exploited Stoke`s defence frailties once more as the ball was allowed to bounce in the Potters 6 yard box again and Cameron pulled back the Norwegian with Anthony Taylor having no other option to send off the 29-year-old and award a penalty.
Frenchmen Rudy Gestede converted the spot kick as he sent Jack Butland the wrong way.
Blackburn came out in the second half at a frantic pace and killed the game off in the first 10 minutes as the 23-year-old King scored two identical goals as he raced forward down the Stoke right after a pair of long balls and calmly slotted the ball into the far corner each time.