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Shock win sets Blackburn on longest FA Cup run for eight years

| 15.02.2015

Headlines that foresaw the Ewood Park arrival of the biggest Samba star of the time, Ronaldinho, are arguably the most notable events in the Venky’s chequered five-year ownership of Blackburn Rovers.

A takeover that promised much has so far only delivered relegation from the Premier League and a highest finish in the Championship of eighth, for all their money and pledges, Rovers’ Indian owners have so far not even managed a playoff place.

Until this season’s FA Cup came along the 2014/15 campaign was in grave danger of running along the same middling road.

Sat in ninth in the league, 11 points off sixth, Blackburn were again frustrating with a squad of huge potential.

But, after seeing off Charlton in the third-round of the country’s favourite cup competition, two wins over Premier League opposition have allowed the Rovers faithful to dream of a fairytale story.

A shock 4-1 win over Stoke City, which could have easily been five or six, has booked the former Premier League champions a place in the sixth round of the FA Cup, their furthest journey into the competition since a semi final against Chelsea in 2006/07.

In a year when top-flight sides seem to be doing all they can to spurn the opportunity to win the most open FA Cup in some time, Blackburn find themselves at a reasonable 25/1 to lift the trophy.

Only Liverpool of the big three sides remaining in the tournament are guaranteed their spot in the next round and beyond the Merseysiders, Arsenal and Manchester United, sit three top-flight teams of the standard that Rovers have already defeated.

So long as the three favourites are avoided in the draw, the prospect of facing West Brom, Aston Villa or Sunderland won’t faze the Ewood Park club. After that it’s a trip to Wembley for a semi-final and, perhaps, even a day of pure celebration for the showpiece match.

Before long, the Venkys must deliver Blackburn back to the Premier League, but a potential heady run in the FA Cup will do for now.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.