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Fans View FA Cup : Adrian

2 - 1

Ewood Park




It was a cold February evening at Ewood and for 5th time of the campaign, Rovers met Sunderland in an F.A Cup 5th round replay, both bosses Allardyce and Spbragia hinted of resting key players and this was reflected in the line ups.

Gael Givet was given a debut at left back, Zurab played alongside Nelsen with Danny Simpson coming in at right back. Mokoena partnered Dunn in the middle with Keith Treacy operating down the left and Carlos Villanueva the right. Roque Santa Cruz started up front with Jason Roberts, Morten Gamst Pedersen and Benni McCarthy among the notable names on the bench as well as youngster Aaron Doran who recently penned a new deal at Ewood.

Rovers started the brighter, Treacy first with an effort wide of Gordon`s goal in the opening 20 seconds. Two minutes later Villanueva whipped a telling corner to the front post, Zurab Khizanishvilli flicked the header but Gordon turned the ball onto the upright and out.

But then against the run of play, a weak effort from Murphy ricocheted off Nelsen on the inside of his leg and squirmed through to David Healy who made no mistake in his finish. 1-0 Sunderland.

For a moment is seemed as if this had took Rovers by shock, but soon enough Rovers got hold of the ball again and began to push for the equaliser. Again Villanueva with a superb delivery from a corner onto the free head of Roque Santa Cruz, you would have backed him to score but on this occasion he directed the header wide.

Then Rovers on the 37th minute found an equaliser, from the most unlikely of sources. Villanueva jinked from the right touchline to the edge of the box through the Sunderland defence and unleashed a shot which was blocked, the ball rolled out about 25 yards from goal, Aaron 'The Axe` Mokoena cut across the ball with some style and the ball sailed into Gordons left top corner. A cracker from the Bafana-Bafana skipper.

Now into the second half, Rovers spent much time testing Gordon, but again and again he was equal to efforts from Roberts and Santa Cruz, his best save coming from a sweetly struck free kick from Villanueva on the 74th minute. As normal time drew to a close, Zurab Khizanishvilli connected with another header from a set piece, this time seeing his effort go over the bar.

The game went into extra time, and with teams exchanging blows without really threatening, as penalties loomed with 3 minutes to go and Sam prepared his shoot out list, Villanueva floated in another sensational delivery from a free kick, and that man Benni McCarthy was there again as Rovers` hero guiding a sweet header past Gordon.

Star Player

Carlos Villanueva - 8 - Always tried to unlock the defence and worked hard off the ball, his set piece deliveries are different class, good nights work from the Chilean.

Player Ratings

Paul Robsinson - 7

Not an awful lot to do, could do nothing with the goal and dealt well with everything else.

Danny Simpson - 7

Looked nervous in the first half but got forward more in the second and peformed defensive duties better.

Zurab Khizanishvilli - 7

Steady as ever at the heart of defence, could have had 2 goals.

Ryan Nelsen - 7

Solid at the back and was unlucky for the goal, comfortable night for the Kiwi.

Gael Givet - 7

Really impressed me on his debut, a no nonsense defender but also with a good footballing brain and technically up to our standard, could be a good signing and keep Warnock on his toes.

Carlos Villanueva - 8

See above.

David Dunn - 7

Always gets you off your seat in the final third, shifted the ball well and also came through without too much trouble to his injury, we hope!

Aaron Mokoena - 7

Terrific goal from the lad and did his job in his usual holding midfield role.

Keith Treacy - 6

He`s definitely got the attributes but isn`t quite doing it yet, lost possession to easy too often and final delivery wasn`t consistent enough.

Roque Santa Cruz - 6

Won headers but still needs to do a bit more, needs more games. Should have scored with header.

Jason Roberts -7

Again worked his socks off and held the ball up well, kept the 2 Sunderland centre halves busy for 120 minutes, a good shift.

Andre Ooijer - 6

Not much time to do anything

Tugay - 6

Did ok, poke in the eye gave him a bit of difficulty with blurred vision.

Benni McCarthy - 8

Scored the winning goal, can`t ask much more chucking on your goalscorer!


He is working a bit of overtime is our man Adrian... he's doing the fans view for Villa at home tomorrow.

The Observer On Sunday

Mikey will be doing his second stint in the Observer this weekend for the national newspaper.

Hopefully a bit mroe exposure for our great site.

Writer:Adrian BRFC
Date:Friday February 6 2009
Time: 4:53PM

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Superb stuff Ads!!! A great read!
Mikey D
06/02/2009 16:54:00
Its alright, I will provide a bit more depth hopefully for the Villa game with more time on my hands! looks forward to reading The Observer Mikey!
06/02/2009 17:22:00
should be a good un hopefully. Really enjoyed doing it last time so fingers crossed ;)
Mikey D
06/02/2009 17:28:00
was impressed with carlos as well hope he gets some starts in the league before the end of the season so he can show his class
06/02/2009 19:46:00
Cheers for that adrian, lads i asked Adrian if he could do the report for the Cup game, and he jumped onto it, i dont get any coverage of the early rounds of the cup down here, not even darn highlights, so Cheers to Adrian for the superb article
06/02/2009 21:59:00
I only saw the highlights, but I agree with Adrian, Carlos looked top class. I hope we see more of him. In some ways it's a shame we've bought Diouf in. Emo's injury would have been his chance to shine otherwise
07/02/2009 12:09:00
Very Good article Adr and I agree that Carlos was the main man. Do you have someone in your family who is a well-known jouralist? Stonesrick
08/02/2009 12:55:00
Shame he didnt get on v Villa as he could of given us that sparkle that we needed.
Mikey D
08/02/2009 14:48:00
very good article cheers- we havn't been gettin Blackburn FA cup matches here in Aus so Vital is all i have! good effort to get through and even better to hear that some fringe players are doing well. Cup champions anyone?
08/02/2009 16:01:00
Wouldnt take it over league safety but I wouldnt mind!!!
Mikey D
09/02/2009 17:58:00
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