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Archive for February, 2013

23rd February 2013 Saturday, Reebock Stadium – After boasting what an outstanding defence Hull City have it was galling to discover once again that nothing in football is a given and everything in football is often turned on its head. Just what odds you could have got on a 3-0 score line in 8 minutes is beyond imagination. We drop one place to 3rd and lose a wonderful chance to get nearer Cardiff. Yes Hull City at their most frustrating.

Steve Bruce called it school boy defending and he is right, let’s hope this never happens again. We have two centre halves injured so maybe the combination on the pitch is not our best, but then again it has served us well before.

The first goal: Chung-Yong Lee cross to Pratley in the box, (defender misses a clearance header), Pratley totally unmarked, no-one near him heads into the goal… 2 minutes expired.

Second goal: Ball given away on City’s right, three Bolton passes, M Davies pass to Ngog (falls over), no proper clearance, ball bounces to M Davies who shoots from the edge of the “D” which beats the diving Stockdale…goal 5 minutes expired. It was a shot along the ground which on most days Stockdale would have stopped.

Third goal: Ball given away on the half way line, Bolton attack a corner won. Corner taken by Spearing to Craig Dawson who heads over the line, hooked away by Robert Koren but then rammed fully home by Martin Sordell…goal 8 minutes, Tigers expired.

Horrible, horrible, this can’t be happening we all say, what’s going on! In that opening 10 minutes Bolton had taken 3 shots at goal and scored 3 goals, and won a corner. City had only troubled the statistics with a foul and 25% of possession.

City “responded” with a shot by Quinn and then Brady but it wasn’t looking good. Then on 20 minutes Sordell has a shot just inside the box for Bolton which bounced off a post. Shell shocked City players continued to be sloppy, ragged and seemed to forget any possession retention techniques and maybe it was just a question of limping to half time so that something could be sorted out. Even Elmo’s trusted crossing skills deserted him and most players looked lost in a similar way.

City eventually got into their passing game with Bolton clearly preferring to hold onto a winning lead and up to half time the Tigers made a game of it; having more and more possession to make it 50%; a goal now would have changed things for the second half, but Gedo had used up all his magic.

HT 3-0

With Steve Bruce no doubt telling them a few home truths the Tigers carried on attempting a comeback, but on 60 minutes with nothing much happening Boyd came on for Koren and Simpson came on for Gedo. And on 68 minutes something happened. City got a free kick from a foul on Meyler, Brady took the kick some 25 yards out and following a deflection the ball completely beat keeper Bogdan and ended in the bottom right hand corner of the net; 3-1 and a little hope.

Hope soon extinguished though. On 69 minutes an inappropriate ball by Chester rebounds off a City player and an 18 yard effort by Darren Pratley needed a save by David Stockdale. Then on 70 minutes bad defending struck again after a corner, at least two clearances were needed but with the ball still not cleared properly a shot from the edge of the box to Craig Dawson who just flicked the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net, the ball just seemed to dribble in with Stockdale stranded in the middle of the goal; 4-1 then and that was it.

For periods City played ok but it that opening 8 minutes was just too much to recover from and Bolton defended very well.

Hull City: Stockdale, Chester, Hobbs, Bruce, Elmohamady, Evans, Gedo, Quinn, Brady, Meyler, Koren. Bench: Proschwitz, Simpson, Fathi, Boyd, Jakupovic, Cairney, Rosenior.

Bolton: Bogdan, Ricketts, Knight, Dawson, Alonso, M. Davies, Spearing, Pratley, Chung-Yong Lee, Sordell, Ngog. Bench: K. Davies, Lonergan, Medo, C. Davies, Eagles, Wheater, De Ridder.

Referee Mr A Haines (Tyne & Wear).

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21st February 2013 Thursday – George Boyd today  joined the Tigers on an emergency  loan from Peterborough for the remainder of the season, and it is rumoured Steve Bruce will look to offer him a two year contract after the end of this season at which time he will be a free agent.

During Peterborough’s match against Millwall on Tuesday this week the 27 year old scored one goal and made three others. He has netted seven goals for Peterborough this season. He has scored 64 goals for Peterborough in 263 league appearances (74 goals in 295 total appearance).

There is mixed speculation on the fee City are parting with which ranges from £200,000 to a seven figure sum

It is reported that at least three other clubs showed interest in Boyd during the January transfer window and a deal with Nottingham Forest controversially collapsed when he failed an eye test. Peterborough have branded Nottingham Forest’s owners  “a disgrace to the game” over their handling of this incident.

Boyd started his career in the Charlton Athletic youth system, joining Stevenage Borough of the Conference National in 2001 and making his first-team début in 2002. He spent five seasons at Stevenage, scoring over thirty goals from midfield in all competitions. He left in January 2007 to join League Two side Peterborough United for a fee of £260,000, and won two successive promotions in the 2007–08 and 2008–09 seasons. In March 2010, Boyd joined Nottingham Forest on loan until the end of the 2009–10 season. On return to his parent club in July 2010, Boyd signed a new three-year contract at Peterborough.

He also played for the England National Game XI team, who represent England at non-League level, from 2005 to 2006, earning six caps and scoring one goal. Despite being born in England, his maternal grandfather comes from Scotland and he played for the Scotland B team in 2009.

Boyd is left footed and has been used on the left-wing throughout the majority of his career. He has describes himself as a winger, but has stated that he prefers to play “in the hole” because the position allows him to get more time on the ball.

While playing for his first Senior Club Stevenage he earned the nickname  “The White Pelé” due to his use of tricks, as well as the amount of flair Boyd brought to the team at such a young age.

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19th February 2013 Tuesday KC Stadium – City never seemed in danger of losing this game such was the concentration and solid defending. We all expected an exceptionally difficult game but overall the Tigers gave the impression of always being in control. Blackburn only managed one shot on target, an early 25 yard strike from Kazim-Richards on 4 minutes which skidded across the turf towards the waiting palms of David Stockdale. Elsewhere things also came together Cardiff lost (time for wobbly jitters – hope so), and Leicester lost (we can only hope for more of that as well). We are an almost solid second now with 62 points, 5 points behind Cardiff after 33 games (13 to play). We have only lost 2 of the last 15 league games and are becoming a nightmare to play against.

Not a memorable first half in pure footballing terms but City had a handful of chances and eventually after 10 minutes or so got on top of a Blackburn team who seemed to be waiting for something to happen for them. The giant killers of the FA Cup quite frankly could not cope with this eager Hull City side whose solid formation and energy were a handful for anyone.

Gedo got the nod as the main striker with Robbie Koren in support in a 3-5-2 of Stockdale, Chester, Hobbs, Bruce, Elmohamady, Meyler, Evans, Quinn, Brady, Koren, and Gedo. Bench: Proschwitz, Simpson, Fathi, Olofinjana, Jakupovic, Cairney, and Rosenior

Alex Bruce joined the back three and Corry Evans was in midfield.

Blackburn lined up 4-4-2: Kean, Orr, Dann, Hanley, Martin Olsson, Williamson, Lowe, Murphy, Rekik, Rhodes, Kazim-Richards, Usai, Markus Olsson, Campbell, Bentley, Givet, Pedersen, Gomes.

On 36 minutes Kean needed to be on top form to brilliantly save from an excellent Meyler header and 9 times out of 10 the ball would have been in the net.

However the teams came off at half time 0-0 after a half which had seen possession slightly in City’s favour and Blackburn in a somewhat defensive mood. It seems to be common knowledge now that these Tigers are dangerous; give them room and you can be in big trouble. A good attacking team was being neutralised by Bruce’s boys.

A great second half from Hull City as every player played to near full potential, controlling the game and snuffing out Blackburn who played second fiddle to the tigers and didn’t really show a lot in response.

On 52 minutes Gedo got his third City goal in three games, scrambling the ball into the left hand corner of the net from close range after a 6 yard-box melee, following a brilliant cross from Quinn. The KC came to life and the joy from City players spoke buckets in pure team spirit and appreciation for the Egyptian who again had been in the right place and taken his chance.

A certain Dudley Campbell had the misfortune to come onto the pitch on 59 minutes, known to his friends as DJ he must have hoped he could silence the jeers from angry City fans who had witnessed his disgraceful disrespect shown to the Hull City Management during the January window, not to mention branding Steve Bruce a liar; the man who had given Campbell his real chance in football and who had always supported him was dismissed as a story-teller who made up stuff for the hell of it. His search for a sandwich had taken him West to Blackburn…..silly bugger. If he doesn’t do the business for Blackburn he will be left adrift at the season end and that would be a lesson learnt. On this showing he will be looking for another club again by May time.

On 60 minutes City came very close to a goal; Robbie Brady put in an in-swinging corner from the right by-line towards the near post, Jack Hobbs took a solid shot but Kean made a good save.

But then the KC was sent into raptures on 67 minutes and City went 2-0 up. Robbie Brady again assists with a cross from the left this time and at the back post Elmohamady stabbed it in with ease, making it all look so easy, great skill. Throughout the game Elmo was almost unplayable and continues his brilliant form.

City took more control, and by 74 minutes the stats read City 59% possession (10 City corners to 3) (7 City shots on target to 1), that says it all, there seemed no way back for Blackburn now and that’s how it played out. Reputations counted for nothing for those in blue and white; players like goal machine Jordan Rhodes could do nothing. In the closing minutes City just held them at bay and the clock ran out.

Well done Tigers this game could be a critical one and you should believe, because the fans now do; we should fear no-one. If we play with this energy, passing skill, defensive solidity and chance taking we can win the majority of the remaining games.

Everyone was a hero but Brady, Hobbs, Chester, Bruce, Meyler, Evans, Elmo, Koren (getting back to his near best), poacher Gedo, Quinn (great cross)….all stand out, oh that’s everyone! Plus an under worked goal keeper! A night when it all clicked and we know they played against a very good team.

Final Stats: City 54% possession: Shots 8 City to 1 Blackburn (Of which on target where 7 City to 1 Blackburn): Corners 10 City to 3 Blackburn

Referee: Mr T Robinson (West Sussex) Attendance 15981

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18th February Monday ~ Ok, so we don’t have a very good record against Blackburn. In fact we have to go back to 27th August 1991 for a win when we completed a League Cup encounter and won 1-0, settling the tie 2-1 on aggregate. It’s just that I have a feeling about this game and think Steve Bruce can complete a run of three wins with his new look strike force.

Blackburn will be up for it of course after their exploits over the weekend, but we are becoming dogged and stubborn in a pleasing way, and there seems to be a new spirit in the team; no doubt energised by the arrival of Mr Gedo. The three Egyptians in the squad can form another thread of play to add to some other sound components. We have a good back-line defence, a competent goalkeeper and clever attacking wing-play.

If tomorrow night sees all that coming to fruition it could set us up as a team really hard to beat and one that wins when expected to. Quite a thought for City fans.

Come City only 14 to go!

 

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16th February 2013 Saturday KC Stadium: In the second in succession home game win, City fought all the way in a gritty never say die performance, which was still below the best we have seen from them this season but was good enough to keep a winning run going. If they can keep up this attitude of giving little away and fighting for everything we may get the ultimate happy ending to the season. The solid defence held up, and any game with a one goal margin lead is always going to give City fans a nervous last 15 minutes. They should be used to it by now; more goals would have helped in many ways. After 32 games City have 59 points, 3 points ahead of Watford in third place on equal games.

Simpson got the starting spot to pair up with Gedo and City stepped out as: Stockdale, Chester, Hobbs, McShane, Elmohamady, Meyler, Bruce, Quinn, Brady, Simpson, and Gedo. (In a 3-5-2 set up). With the bench seating: Jakupovic, Rosenior, Evans, Koren, Cairney, Fathi, Proschwitz.

So Koren and Evans being the two changes from the Derby game and Bruce returning to the starting line-up and Gedo earning his first start.

It was a reasonable start for City and a slow start for the visitors, this pitch does not help good football but the Tigers seemed to have made a better fist of it this time.

City may well have taken the lead in the 10th minute when Paul McShane powered a cross towards the far post to David Meyler, but his header was cleared almost off the goal line by Dale Stephens

Gedo got a booking on 15 minutes and then on 33 minute his goal. This was timely as Charlton where beginning to get into the game more. From a Brady corner goalkeeper Hamer fumbled the ball which went loose, Gedo got to it first and stabbed it home from close to the goal. This was his second goal for City in as many games and within 4 days. The Egyptian had been looking lively up to that point and is firmly set to be a favourite of the supporters on this home showing.

Following  great football from Brady and Quinn on the left and then Elmohamady and Meyler it almost brought a second goal just before half time, but a block from Leon Cort prevented Charlton from going two down.

Half time 1-0 to Hull City

On 57 minutes Ahmed Fathi came on for the injured McShane (suspected hamstring); all three Egyptians where now on the pitch for City. It is understand this is the first time three have played together in an English League game.

On 72 minutes Koren came on for Simpson.

Ending up almost 3-4-3 Charlton built up the pressure and City had a lot of defending to do from a side who believed they could get something out of the game, and the Tigers habit of scoring the minimum number of goals nearly cost them dear.

On 89 min a good save by Stockdale from Danny Haynes was required and most at the KC where no doubt praying for the final whistle. Tom Cairney came on for Gedo on 91 minutes.

City didn’t bottle it in the 4 added minutes and were rewarded with all 3 points

Hull City: Stockdale, Chester, Hobbs, McShane, Elmohamady, Meyler, Bruce, Quinn, Brady, Simpson, Gedo. Subs: Jakupovic, Rosenior, Evans, Koren, Cairney, Fathi, Proschwitz.

Charlton: Hamer, Solly, Morrison, Cort, Evina, Wilson, Stephens, Pritchard, Jackson, Kermorgant, Fuller. Subs: Button, Taylor, Haynes, Wright-Phillips, Wagstaff, Wiggins, Dervite.

Referee: Mr Scott Mathieson (Cheshire) Attendance 16840.

Stats: City possession 48%: Total shots City 12 against 5 for Charlton of which 8 on target for City and 2 for Charlton: Corners 5 for City against 4 for Charlton.

Gedo booked for City, Jackson and Fuller for Charlton

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14th February 2013 Thursday – It is understood the Tigers have a deal with Al Ahly the parent club of Gedo the Egyptian striker who is on loan until the end of the season, for City to have first option on signing him when the loan period is over.

Gedo (real name Mohamed Nagy Ismail Afash) made his home début on Tuesday night against Derby County. He came on at the beginning of the 2nd half and scored with a great header within 90 seconds. It was his first touch of the game and City’s first shot on target.

Full details are not known but a report in the Hull Daily Mail stated today stated “the Mail understands City will be the only club able to sign him for a 12-month period under terms negotiated with Egyptian giants Al Ahly ahead of his loan”.

In 72 appearances for Al Ahly Gedo scored 29 goals.

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12th February 2013 Tuesday  KC Stadium: Having clung by their fingertips to the top 4 in the last week or so the Tigers scrambled into 2nd place last night thanks to a good 2nd half by all especially the Egyptian loan troops seconded by Bruce /Mr & Mr Allam. Gedo on this display seems a natural goal scorer, Elmohamady continues his massive contribution and there is the chance that this energy will jerk the other talented players in the squad back to form. With two more home games to follow quickly in succession this  result is timely. With only two wins out of the last nine games (in all competitions) City needed this and a draw would have been a bit depressing for all concerned. Thirty one games played, 56 points collected and in an automatic promotion spot.

The first half was better forgotten as City never got going and produced a disjointed, lack lustre almost tired display. For some reason only known to the players the Tigers lacked any rhythm or passing continuity, this has happened before and it must worry Bruce that he cannot trust a tested line-up to perform at the same level week after week.

Derby had the better of these first 45 minutes and team-wise looked a better outfit, but their lack of ambition must have haunted them in the second half when City became a different team.

Bruce made changes at half time as a good manager should and on came Proschwitz and Gedo for Simpson and Koren and he changed to 4-4-2 from a 3-5-1-1 formation. Simpson in particular had had one of those games where he always seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and couldn’t take advantage of the “crossing” machines Brady and Elmohamady. Koren seems to be fading in the City colours, and not stepping up when a big effort is needed, an accusation that West Brom fans often made; which is a pity when we all know what an excellent player he is.

Gedo made an instant impact and scored by getting to an accurate Brady centre from a corner with a good header guided past the Derby keeper from 10 yards. After the first half no-one could have expected this and the KC woke up. To get a goal on your home début within 90 seconds of coming on is the stuff legends are made of and we can only dream now that we have found a true goal taker when we most needed him. It was in fact City’s first on target attempt of the match and Gedo’s first touch of the ball.

City had more chances as the half wore on (Gedo and Meyler in particular plus Brady’s free kick) and  so did Derby’s Conor Sammon with at least two good efforts.

It was looking like three points in the bag until the 84th minute when Jamie Ward struck making it 1-1 and no doubt for a few minutes every City supporter started considering “wasted chances” again and muttering “Achilles heel” under their breath. Had we snatched a draw from three points? A goal keeping error had led to that Derby goal with the ball passing everyone and left the surprised Mr Ward with a simple goal. The flapping Stockdale had attempted to get to and punch a ball that was maybe better left to his defenders and as so often happens it was left to float past them all.

However in the 87th minute the other Egyptian on the field saved the day. Elmohamady’s header knocked the ball down from Brady’s corner and it bumped over Roberts (who was stood defending the line) with just three minutes to go. Phew!

On 88 minutes Roberts was red carded for a foul on Proschwitz and that was it, a 2-1 win and a second place in the Championship.

Hull City: (3-5-1-1): Stockdale; Chester, McShane, Hobbs; Elmohamady, Meyler, Quinn, Evans (Rosenior 90), Brady; Koren (Gedo 46); Simpson (Proschwitz 46).Subs: Jakupovic, Cairney, Olofinjana, Fathi.

Booked: Evans, Meyler, and Elmohamady

Derby County: (4-4-2): Legzdins; Freeman (Robinson 80), Brayford, Keogh, Roberts; Coutts (Buxton 85), Hughes, Hendrick, Bryson; Ward, Sammon (Jacobs 73). Subs Fielding, Davies, Gjokaj, Hoganson.

Booked: Bryson, Coutts, and Jacobs; Sent off: Roberts.

Referee: Mr R Madley (West Yorkshire). Attendance: 15,677.

Stats: Possession City 49%: Shots on target 3 City to 3 Derby: Shots off target 8 City to 4 Derby: Corners 3 City to 1 Derby.

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