Belfast Telegraph

Stoke halt poor run

Steve Kean's coronation as the new Blackburn boss turned sour at Ewood Park as goals from Robert Huth and Marc Wilson saw Stoke win 2-0 to snap their run of three Barclays Premier League games without a victory.

Huth opened the scoring with a powerful 51st-minute header from a Matthew Etherington corner and Wilson wrapped up the points by knocking home the simplest of chances in injury time.

And Kean will know it could have been much worse for his side, with Etherington missing an early sitter and Kenwyne Jones forcing a wonder save out of Paul Robinson late on.

It was rich reward for Tony Pulis' men, who looked the better side throughout and shaded a dismal first period made memorable only by Etherington's astonishing 14th-minute miss.

Ryan Shawcross rose highest in the box to nod on a Rory Delap long throw and find Etherington, only for the midfielder to tap the ball across the face of goal from point-blank range.

Huth broke the deadlock after the break with a goal that was impressive for its simplicity, charging in front of the static Mame Biram Diouf to angle Etherington's corner past Robinson.

Rovers belatedly stirred, the busy Gael Givet close to connecting to a Morten Gamst Pedersen free-kick then Diouf heading into Asmir Begovic's hands from an Emerton cross.

But the visitors came close to adding a second in the 67th minute when a Jermaine Pennant cross found Jones, whose close-range header was brilliantly tipped over by Robinson.

Jones wriggled through a static Rovers rearguard before being pushed into touch by Robinson as the home fans began to show their frustration with their side's display.

To compound the agony for Kean, Stoke wrapped up the win in injury time when substitute Ricardo Fuller crossed for Wilson to knock home the simplest of chances.

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