Stoke 3-2 Blackburn: Ki-Jana Hoever nets a first half double for hosts

Stoke 3-2 Blackburn: Ki-Jana Hoever nets a first-half double for Alex Neil’s side as Rovers suffer major setback in hunt for automatic promotion despite late fightback

  • Wolves loanee Ki-Jana Hoever opened the scoring after 24 minutes on Friday 
  • Hoever got his second before half-time and Tyrese Campbell made it 3-0 
  • Blackburn fought back through goals by Ben Brereton Diaz and Sam Gallagher   

Stoke defender Ki-Jana Hoever showed why he was once one of the hottest properties in European youth football when he tripled his career goals tally in 19 first half minutes at the bet365 Stadium.

Blackburn gave the scoreline a lopsided look with two goals in the final four minutes; the first when substitute Ben Brereton Diaz headed in Callum Brittain cross before Sam Gallagher did likewise from Harry Pickering’s centre.

But it was too little too late, thanks largely to Hoever.

The Stoke full-back scored twice in a storming end to the period which all but killed off Rovers’ slender hopes of clinching one of the Championship’s two automatic promotion spots.

Hoever, 21, was wanted by both Manchester clubs and Chelsea when leaving Holland as a youngster.

Wolves loanee Ki-Jana Hoever opened the scoring after 24 minutes on Friday night 

Hoever got his second of the game before half-time with a diving header at the back post

Tyrese Campbell put Stoke three up with 15 minutes to go with a fine low strike 

But he elected for Liverpool where Jurgen Klopp made him their third-youngest ever player when he handed him an FA Cup appearance, days short of his 17th birthday.


Stoke (4-2-3-1): Bonham, Hoever, Tuanzebe, Fox, Sterling, Pearson (Thompson81′), Laurent (Baker 88′), Brown, Smallbone, Campbell (Clucas 82′), Gayle (Tymon 77′)

Unused subs: Taylor, Fielding, Reddin

Booked: Sterling, Brown

Goals: Hoever (24, 43) Campbell (75)

Manager: Alex Neil 

Blackburn (4-2-3-1): Pears, Rankin Costello (Brittain 84′), Carter, Hyam, Pickering, Travis, Buckley (Morton 59′), Thomas (Hedges 59′), Szmodics (Garrett 85′), Dolan (Brereton 59′), Gallagher

Unused subs: Phillips, Hilton

Booked: Morton, Brereton  

Goals: Brereton (86) Gallagher (90)

Manager: Jon Dahl Tomasson

Referee: Matt Donohue

Attendance: 17,427 


A transfer to Wolves did not work out, but his current loan move to Stoke has certainly put him in the shop window.

And, after scoring one other professional goal, three and a half years ago in a League Cup tie for Liverpool, his two last night certainly guaranteed him cult status among Stoke fans.

His first came on 24 minutes as Stoke capped a lively opening that took over where they left off in last week’s stunning 5-1 win at Sunderland.

Dwight Gayle’s left-wing cross reached the far-post where marauding right-back Hoever had the space to hit a sweet first-time effort into the net, via the head of Hayden Carter.

Before the break, a brilliant shot from Will Smallbone was kept out by Aynsley Pears and, with Rovers failing to clear the danger, Josh Laurent flung a cross to the far post.

Again, Hoever had given his marker Tyrhys Dolan the slip and, again, he scored – this time with an unstoppable flying header.

Rovers looked more of a threat after the break, with sub Ben Brereton Diaz coming close when he tore through only to be denied by a good save from Jack Bonham.

By then, the three points should already have been secured. Smallbone, who had struck the bar in the first half, missed a glorious chance from 10 yards after Gayle’s cross was deflected to him.

Tyrese Campbell finally produced the killer third goal after 75 minutes, driving the ball in from 15 yards after appalling defending had allowed Laurent to deliver a decisive cross.

Ben Brereton Diaz got one back for Blackburn with a header from a cross by Callum Brittain

Sam Gallagher also scored a header of his own but it turned out to be just a consolation

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