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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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