Blackburn leapfrogged Stoke in the Sky Bet Championship with a 1-0 away win at the bet365 Stadium.
Reda Khadra scored the winner early in the second half and Rovers never looked like allowing Stoke back into the game.
It was a good run from the Brighton loanee and he struck a beautifully-hit ball into the bottom left corner past Adam Davies from just inside the box.
The goal did, however, come with a hint of controversy as Stoke were denied a corner before Rovers took the ball up the field to score.
Romaine Sawyers’ effort was turned around the post by Thomas Kaminski and Stoke’s Mario Vrancic had another long-distance effort from outside the box.
It took a wild deflection which was somehow unnoticed and the referee gave a goal-kick. Rovers took the goal-kick and went up the other end to take the lead.
Stoke nearly stole a point in added time through Danny Batth as he flicked a shot goalwards but it was brilliantly saved by Kaminski to hold on to the three points.
Rovers nearly doubled their lead through Darragh Lenihan. Joe Rothwell whipped in a free-kick from the right to the back-post and Lenihan’s volley flashed in front of Davies’ eyes as it went wide of the post.
Stoke held the majority of possession in the opening 45 minutes but looked toothless going forward and neither side seemed as though they wanted the three points. But that all changed in the second half as Stoke’s creativity was just beginning to show but Rovers took the lead.
After 12 minutes, Scott Wharton caught the Potters’ high back-line sleeping with a long ball over the top which found Ben Brereton Diaz. The Chile international picked the ball up on the left wing and audaciously tried to chip Davies. It was a great effort but went just wide of the post.
Rothwell had a curling effort from distance, but it was comfortably wide.
And moments before half-time, Rovers should have gone into the break a goal ahead. Harry Pickering found space down the left flank and drilled in a wonderful cross across the face of goal but nobody gambled and it trickled out for a throw-in. It would have been an easy tap-in for anyone close enough.
It is now back-to-back defeats for Michael O’Neill’s side after an incredibly bright start to the season and they’ve also dropped out of the play-off spots.
Rovers under Tony Mowbray seem to be back on the right track after their damaging defeat to Fulham earlier this month. They’ve now climbed to fourth in the league table and are four games without a defeat.
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