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Archive for December, 2013

28th December 2013 Saturday KC Stadium – The team who cannot score goals came good today much to the surprise of fans and media alike. A dullish first half was followed by the totally unexpected spectacle of Hull City going on a rampaging goal-fest! No other word for it, and most of my family spent the rest of the day walking around muttering six nil, six nil.

We had 2 shots on target in that first half and 11 in the second half.

For someone who has followed Hull City for 58 years the full implications of them scoring six unanswered goals in 45 minutes of Premier League football is a lot to take in. You can’t believe everything you see on telly, but afterwards I checked the BBC website and there it was 6-0, six nil, 10th spot after 19 games and 23 points. Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.

Here we go:

49th minute – Elmohamady 1-0 following a corner

60th minute – Robbie Koren 2-0 from a Sagbo pass

63rd minute – George Boyd 3-0 from a Livermore ball

67th minute – Tom Huddlestone 4-0 left footed rocket from outside the box

74th minute – Matty Fryatt 5-0 from close range following a set piece

84th minute – Robbie Koren 6-0 from close range

Some wonderful passing and all round play from Huddlestone seemed to keep the Tigers purring and you could see everyone was determined to get on the score sheet.

Fulham where appalling defence-wise though in most of that second half, they became mesmerised,  just stood off and waited for the home team to pass, challenges stopped coming in.

You have to go back to the 1982/83 season to find a game when we scored six without reply (against Stockport County, we won 7-0 on 29th December 1983 in the 4th Division).

I can just hear papa Allam now…… “Steve do you really need another striker?”

Wonderful, extraordinary, just wonderful.

Hull City: McGregor, Chester, Davies, Rosenior, Figueroa, Huddlestone, Livermore (Graham 73′), Elmohamady (McShane 77′), Boyd, Koren, Sagbo (Fryatt 68′). Bench: Bruce. Meyler, Graham, Fryatt, McShane, Harper, Faye.

Fulham: Stockdale; Zverotic, Hughes, Amorebieta, Riise; Dejagah (Bent 64′), Sidwell, Karagounis (Richardson 74′), Kasami; Ruiz (Kacaniklic 60′), Rodallega. Bench: Kacaniklic, Richardson, Boateng, Riether, David, Bent, Bettinelli.

Referee Robert Madley. Attendance 23,925.

No yellow or Red cards!

Half time stats Hull v Fulham

Full Time stats Hull v Fulham

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26th December 2013 Boxing Day KC Stadium – Hull City were unlucky not to get anything out of this game. The ‘touch me and I’ll fall over’ disease  has made a once great game into a lottery, the referees sometimes get it right, but against the big favoured teams everyone else suffers…..usually near the 18 yard box.

Today was no different, with the likes of Wayne Rooney and his win or die mantra making him join in. But it’s not just the referee spotting the non-foul contact, it’s all the other decisions which are tempered or spiked up by the big  club’s shadow looming over the officials.

Anyway that’s enough whingeing, City put up a great display for the Xmas crowd shooting into a 2 goal lead within 13 minutes and raising the hope of a win. The first from James Chester in the 3rd minute and then from David Meyler in the 13th.

City won a corner after a good wide run from Elmohamady. Huddlestone took the kick and clipped the ball high into the area away from the six-yard box. Alex Bruce peeled off from Rooney and headed the ball into the danger area, where the unmarked Chester struck a left-footed volley high into the net from close in. Yes, get in!

City were putting everything into the opening period of this game and the reds from Manchester could not cope.

The ball came to David Meyler on the left and he turned it towards the far post, only for Evans to knock it straight back to him. Meyler, sensing his chance, shot from the left but didn’t catch it properly – the ball was tumbling slowly towards De Gea  until Evans stuck out a foot and helped it past the reds keeper and into the net. HeHe! 2-0 to Hull City and the KC is bouncing.

Queue Rooney and Co to start whining at every decision, falling over and generally getting hot under the collar. The ref must have sensed it coming.

Allan McGregor had not recovered from a clattering from that other fallen idol Ashley Young a minute before City’s second goal but soldiered on. However on the 19th minute Smalling gets a goal to make it 2-1. Wayne Rooney curled a free-kick into the area, where Smalling takes a lift on Davies shoulder to head into the net from eight yards.

The game hots up now. In the 21st minute Cleverley drives a ball through a crowded City area following a corner and forces a great save from McGegor.

The 26th minute sees another United goal . Welbeck manages to bring a high ball down and gets it to Wayne Rooney. He is still 25 yards from goal but he controls the ball with one touch and hammers a volley into the top-right corner, just out of the reach of a despairing  McGregor.

City are under a lot of pressure from the reds after spending the next 15 minutes in their own half following the equalizing score. Up to half time however they do make raids into the reds half but to no real avail. Alex Bruce pulls off some great old fashioned tackles on Fletcher and Welbeck. Following one of these the ball is collected by Danny Graham, who runs at the United defence, when his shot comes it takes a deflection off Evans, loops over De Gea and bounces off the angle of post/bar.

So it’s 2-2 at half time.

City make two changes at half time, Steve Harper replaces the injured Allan McGregor and Robbie Koren is now on for David Meyler.

Some good play by City keeps the game even for the odd period, Valencia is booked after a foul on Sagbo who was getting away from him on 60 minutes. Then on 63 minutes Alex Bruce hits the bar when heading a Huddlestone corner, the keeper De Gea never moved. That should have been a goal and a game changer.

But when the 66th minute came along James Chester was the first to connect with a cross in front of his own goal. Figueroa had tried to cut out a pass from Welbeck to Young on the right, but missed it, this allowed Welbeck to get away from him as there was no covering player. Ashley Young had taken off his roller skates for once and chipped a cross towards Rooney but Chester was ball side of him in front of goal and had to head it. Unfortunately he didn’t connect cleanly and Harper had no chance as the ball shot past him into the net. The crestfallen Chester looked shocked and heartbroken, he had just chalked off his 3rd minute goal and put his old club in the driving seat.

So 2-3 to the reds, and that’s how it stayed despite a chance in the 87th minute for Graham, and Valencia being sent off in the 90th minute for petulance.

City did rock United a bit in stoppage time. Chester should have equalised for Hull. Boyd had found him in space with a great pass but a poor first touch saw De Gea closing the angle and then blocking the shot.

Hull City: McGregor; Bruce, Chester, Davies; Elmohamady, Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore, Figueroa; Graham, Sagbo. Subs: Harper, Rosenior, Faye, McShane, Koren, Boyd, Fryatt.

Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Smalling, Evans, Evra; Valencia, Cleverley, Fletcher, Young; Rooney, Welbeck. Subs: Lindegaard, Vidic, Carrick, Fabio, Kagawa, Januzaj, Hernandez.

Referee: Michael Oliver. Attendance 24,826

Stats Hull v Manu

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21st December 2013 Saturday – Manager-less West Brom looked to going down to a fourth defeat in a row when Matej Vydra latched onto a through ball from Zoltan Gera in the 86th minute and gave caretaker manager Keith Downing a point in his first game.

Steve Bruce summed it up after the game  “The dressing room is devastated that we didn’t hold on,” Bruce said. “It (the goal) is the only time really in the game that Shane Long (who fed the ball to Gera) has got down the side of us. It feels as if we have been beaten….It’s difficult to take when you’ve done so much in the game. I can’t remember my goalkeeper having to make a save. I think a big turning point in the game was the chance for Elmohamady, where Foster makes the double save. It could have been a different scenario, but there you have it – that is where we find ourselves, and we will move on.”

Jake Livermore had put City ahead on 28 minutes after they had made a fast break from defence. David Meyler pounced on the loose ball and got it to Danny Graham. As Danny moved up-field Livermore raced to catch up with play and was released to shoot by a nice pass from Danny Graham. Bruce said of the strike “His (Livermore’s) first-half performance was magnificent, rounded off with a quality goal, It’s one that you purr at as a manager.”

The Tigers all-round performance was excellent, particularly in the first half and are playing with confidence in a league in which most people thought they would struggle. Bruce has put together a squad who always expect to get something out of a game and with a nice balance between caution and attack.

Bruce continued  “We frustrated West Brom and counter attacked. We had the best chance to seal it and, at 2-0, we would have put the game to bed but Ben Foster has made a great double save. Maybe I’m nit-picking but we’re frustrated and disappointed. Before the game we probably would have taken a point and we’ve got 20 points before Christmas, so we’re bang on schedule.”

City are still in that 12th position spot they seemed to have made their own and have 20 points from 187 games, and their goal difference isn’t too shabby compared to the teams around them. Defensively they are sound and the field positioning makes them frustratingly difficult to break down. Is it a coincidence that Louis Suarez was having a goal fest before he was shut out at the KC and continued his goal feast in the games after his visit?

Hull City: McGregor, Elohamady, Figueroa, Davies. Bruce, Chester, Livermore, Meyler, Graham (Boyd 80′), Sagbo (Fryatt 89′), Huddlestone. Bench: Rosenior, Koren, Fryatt, McShane, Boyd, Harper, Faye.

West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Jones, Ridgewell (Gera 79′), Mulumba, McAuley, Olsson, Sessegnon (Vydra 69′), Brunt, Long, Morrison, Sinclair (Berahino 45′). Bench: Yacob, Myhill, Lugano, Amalfitano, Vydra, Gera, Berahino.

Referee Jonathan Moss.

Attendance 24,753

Selection_022

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Swansea City and Hull City have both been fined £20,000 by the Football Association for failing to control their players after both clubs pleaded guilty.

The FA who are impotent in most things love to dish out this sort of stuff for minor scuffles.

The clubs were charged by the FA earlier this week and have now been punished following a scuffle that broke out when the sides faced each other in a 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium on December 9.

Hull striker Yannick Sagbo and Swansea defender Ashley Williams clashed with around 10 minutes remaining in the game at the Liberty Stadium and a minor melee ensued.

The FA’s official website said: “Swansea City and Hull City have both been fined £20,000 following a mass confrontation between the two sides. The clubs each admitted a charge of failing to ensure that its players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion. This follows an incident in the 80th minute of their fixture on December 9 2013.”

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14th December 2014 Saturday KC Stadium – The Tigers dominated the first half of this match with the 3-5-2 set up, but during the second half a resurgent Stoke had Hull City hanging on and were no doubt pleased to come away with a share of the points.

Bosnian goalkeeper Asmir Begovic (who had to prove his fitness before the start) made some fantastic saves particularly from Elmohamady and Sagbo, without him Hull may well have pocketed 3 points.

The Tigers desperately need more strike power but the 4 first class serves made by Begovic were crucial to the final score. He completed 100% of his attempted punches and claims for the ball.

Hull City: McGregor, Elmohamady, Figueroa, Davies, Bruce (Brady 67′), Chester, Livermore, Meyler (Rosenior 78′), Graham (Boyd 82′), Sagbo, Huddlestone. Bench: Rosenior, Koren, Brady, McShane, Boyd, Harper, Faye.

Referee Mike Dean

Attendance: 23,324

Stats: Opta via BBC, and Squawka.Stats FT HullvStoke

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9th December 2013 Tuesday Night – Referee Martin Atkinson did the Tigers no favours in this game and missed two hand balls by Swansea players. One when they scored the equaliser and another clear one that should have given us a penalty.

City stand 12th with 18 points after 15 games, almost half way to that 40 points mark which should be safe ground in this league.

City enjoyed the usual 34% possession in both halves which is becoming a signature of their play at home or away. They pose a lot of problems to the attacking side and in the first half Swansea couldn’t find the key to defeat the visitors.

Danny Graham took his long awaited goal well in just over 8 minutes and was sensible enough not to celebrate too much for the end of his 30 game drought.  No doubt thinking that could wait for the dressing room at the end of the game or on the way home. Elmo beat his man (something he did regularly) and put in a great cross from the right which was just missed by the raised foot of the defender and Danny alongside him prodded it in at close range.

The rest of the half was mostly Swansea trying to get forward but failing to do anything dangerous, thanks to a good organised defence and some excellent defending. Davies, Chester and Bruce all excellent. Yannick Sagbo was very lively and showed some good touches.

At the first half whistle Swansea had achieved no shots on target but 6 corners, we had managed 33% possession, one shot on target (the goal) and no corners.

Half time Swansea 0-1 Hull City

Swansea came out of the blocks quicker in the second half and looked likely to get something, and in the few minutes before they scored you had a feeling it was coming. When it arrived on 60 minutes however their goal should have been disallowed. James Chester conceded a corner and when the ball finally came in at the near post Chico seemed to have both hands available at the right time and the ball ricocheted into the goal. None of the officials turned a hair and the one with a whistle awarded the “goal”.

Swansea carried on in their new lively fashion but City stuck to the task, and came back fairly strongly before the last 15 minutes which included quite a bit of pressure from the home side.

David Meyler had the ball in the the home goal but was flagged offside, which he was (Marginally). City had a strong penalty appeal when Dwight Tiendalli hand-balled Alex Bruce‘s header but Martin Atkinson seemed to have forgotten that rule and we got nowt, even though the defender brought both his hands up to his chest and punched the ball away. No consistency in this league, none whatsoever.

Sagbo and Williams were both booked in the 80 minute after a bit of sillyness over who should have the ball after a whistle.

So after 4 minutes of extra time in which City hung on a bit with come away with a point. We haven’t done too well away from the KC this time in the premiership in fact we have only won 1 away game in our last 31 away in this league. Quite a stat.

Hull City: McGregor, Elmohamady,Figueroa, Davies, Bruce, Chester, Livermore, Meyler, Graham (Koren 64′), Sagbo, Huddlestone. Bench: Rosenior, Koren, Brady, McShane, Boyd, Harper, Faye.

Swansea: Tremel, Tiendalli, Davies, Canas, Chico, Williams, Dyer, DeGusman (Pozuelo 56’), Michu, Shelvey, Hernandez (Routledge). Bench: Amat, Taylor, Lamah, Routledge, Pozuelo, Donnelly, Zabret.

Referee Martin Atkinson.  Attendance 19,303.

Full time stata Swans v Hull

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4th December 2013 Tuesday night at The Emirates – It could have been a lot worse than 2-nil, much worse.

Nicklas Bendtner of all people just had to show Steve Bruce he still has what it takes to score goals in the EPL. He got their first goal within two minutes, 1 min 30 seconds to be exact. He out jumped our two centre halves and headed in a Jenkinson cross coming from wide to his right, and too close for McGregor to react fully.

A weird but often seen phenomena of an early goal in each half settled this game, and in between (except for the last 15 minutes) City were outplayed by a technically gifted squad of players.

Mesut Özil got the second goal in 1 minute 56 seconds of the restart of the second half. He latched onto a brilliant through ball from the outstanding Aaron Ramsey and his left-footed strike beat McGregor at his near post.

City barely got near the Gunners goal in the 1st half, (just one corner) and fared little better in the 2nd, (no corners!) although the final 15 minutes saw them with more possession and Arsenal sitting back just a bit. Difficult to tell if this was Arsenal thinking “job done” or City having a visitors final flurry. I like to think we came to terms with the situation and had a go.

We missed Curtis Davies of course and I have a feeling the first goal may not have happened had he been on the park.

We drop to 12th with 17 points, but all the big boys are out of the way for the first half of the season.

Steve Bruce said after the match “The one thing you want to do is start well and they have scored a wonderful goal, we’ve been done on a one-two in a wide area, but it’s wonderful. Arsenal are confident enough and then when they go 1-0 up early on it becomes a difficult evening for us.

“I was delighted to get back into the game but lo and behold we did the same thing in the second half but late on we rolled our sleeves up otherwise it could have been embarrassing.”

Hull City: McGregor, Figueroa, Elmohamady, Chester, Bruce, Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore, Brady (Rosenior 58’), Graham (Boyd 58’), Sago (Gedo 73’). Bench: Rosenior, Koren, Fryatt, Boyd, Gedo, Harper, Faye.

Arsenal: Szczesney,Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Ramsey (Arteta 80’), Rosicky (Wilshere 73’), Cazorla, Ozil, Bendtner (Walcott 73’). Bench: Vermaelen, Arteta, Wilshere, Giroud, Walcott, Fabianski, Gibbs.

Referee: Andre Marriner. Attendance: 60,017

Stats via Opta

full time stats Arse v Hull

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