Ratings: Buckley saves the day in Stoke draw

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Mark Whittle hands out his ratings as Rovers draw with Stoke City…

Thomas Kaminski 7

Didn’t really have too many saves to make and was virtually a spectator in the second half. May be questionable that he could have come off his line sooner for Powell’s goal for Stoke, however, he made a fine stop just before half-time denying Powell and Stoke a second goal. If that goes in, Rovers would have had a mountain to climb.

Ryan Nyambe 6

Good to see Nyambe back in the starting eleven. He looked bright early on with a couple of runs forward. Did not put a foot wrong defensively and was involved in the build up to Rovers’ equalising goal, crossing a dangerous ball across the six-yard box to Elliott who pulled the ball back for Buckley to tap home.

Darragh Lenihan 6

Had his hands full with Powell and it was poor that Powell was not picked up at the corner in which he scored Stoke’s goal from. It is becoming a worrying trend for the Rovers defence that poor goals keep being conceded, especially from set plays. Rovers have now conceded first for the eighth time in nine games which simply is not good enough. I’d expect Lenihan to organise better as captain.

Jarrad Branthwaite

A tough match for Branthwaite to come in to. Only signed on loan from Everton on Thursday and was put straight into the side. Showed flashes that he will be a decent acquisition – made a couple of good tackles and looks calm on the ball and in possession.

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Barry Douglas 6

One of Rovers’ better players on the day and much better than his recent performances in a blue and white shirt. Showed a few decent glimpses of what he can bring to the team.

Bradley Johnson 4

It never really got going for the Rovers midfield on a poor Ewood pitch. First-half was horrendous performance for the whole team, possibly the worst yet this season. Nobody could have taken any credit from it and Johnson was sacrificed at half-time.

Lewis Travis 4

Not the Lewis Travis we have come to know and love. I still do not think Travis is fully fit yet. He has looked a yard off the pace since his return to the side. Mowbray has probably rushed Travis back in to the starting eleven too soon. Hopefully, the game time will help him build his fitness up though, and we’ll see the best of him in the coming weeks and months ahead.

Bradley Dack 5

His first league start back in the Rovers line-up since his injury in December 2019. Got another 70 minutes under his belt. He cut a frustrating figure for most of the match and had to come deep on many occasions to receive the ball in what was a poor team performance. Good to see him back in the starting eleven though.

Harvey Elliott 6

Noticeably quiet for his high standards. Rovers never really got going as an attacking force until the final 15 or 20 minutes when suddenly sparked into life. Elliott started seeing more of the ball and posing more of a threat, eventually receiving another assist, pulling the ball back from Nyambe’s cross for Buckley to tap home the equaliser and gaining Rovers a point.

Joe Rothwell 6

Rothwell created Rovers’ only real chance of the first half as he raced forward and played Armstrong in for what should have been the opening goal of the match, had it not been for the referee assistant’s flag. He was then unlucky to pick up an injury in what looked to be a groin strain, after stretching on the poor Ewood pitch, before being replaced by Gallagher at half-time.

Adam Armstrong 7 (MAN OF THE MATCH)

Had truly little service and had to feed off scraps. He should have added another goal to his tally as his first half strike was terribly ruled out for offside by the assistant referee. He never looked anywhere near offside. Forced a second half save from Stoke goalkeeper Bursik just before the equaliser, and almost raced through on goal had it not been for James Chester pulling him down, which resulted in the Stoke captain receiving a straight red card. Had Armstrong got through, Rovers could have nicked all three points!

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Substitutes

Jacob Davenport (on 45 mins, replacing Bradley Johnson) 6

Davenport looked the brightest Rovers midfielder of the afternoon. Surely, he deserves a run in the team now.

Sam Gallagher (on 45 mins, replacing Joe Rothwell) 4

Came on for Rothwell at the break but picked up injury himself as he crashed into the advertising boards behind the Darwen End goal not long after coming on, which ultimately ended his afternoon.

Ben Brereton (on 61 mins, replacing Sam Gallagher) 6

He was probably unlucky not to start the match and was even more surprised that Mowbray turned towards Gallagher ahead of Brereton at the break – eventually replacing the injured Gallagher. Put himself about when he came on with plenty of running. Not as effective as in recent weeks though. A tough game for him to come on, as Rovers were not free flowing all afternoon. May be not enough time to make a real impact.

Lewis Holtby (on 64 mins, replacing Lewis Travis) 5

Had a few touches of the ball without creating much of note.

John Buckley (on 72 mins, replacing Bradley Dack) 6

Came on as Rovers pushed for an equaliser. He was in the right place at the right time to tap home Elliott’s pull back and gain a point that never really looked like coming.

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