Hull City 2 West Ham 1
A dramatic game at the KCOM Stadium saw the Tigers triumph by two goals to one, in a vital relegation battle. City were without the suspended Huddlestone, and in a poor first half for the Tigers, he was sorely missed. City struggled to get to grips with the physical threat posed by Andy Carroll, and it was no surprise when he scored in the eighteenth minute. A deep cross from the wing was misjudged by Curtis Davies, and Caroll had time to bring the ball down ,and sweep it past Jakupovic. City were woeful in the first half, giving away possession time and again, and were very much missing Huddlestone’s calming influence, as West Ham threatened to run riot. The referee did not help City’s cause; frustratingly inconsistent and guilty of some dreadful blunders. One nil at half time, and it did not look good for the Tigers.
Whatever Silva said to the team at half time clearly worked, as City were a totally different side in the second half. Grosicki came on for Davies, and the extra width worked wonders.A neat move on the left saw Robertson run into the box and deliver a sweet finish from ten yards. Game on. Suddenly, City had come to life, and they began to run the show. N’Diaye hit the post shortly after, and the Tigers were very much in the ascendancy. Maguire was hauled to the ground, but as so often this season-no penalty. The crowd got well behind the team, and got their reward in the eighty fifth minute when the excellent Ranocchia headed home. Six minutes added time did not settle the nerves, but City held on for a massive three points. The response to the crowd at the introduction of Snodgrass saw 52% boos, and 48% cheers. ( I was in the 48%. Again!)
So, the Great Escape is still on, and next Wednesday’s game against Middlesborough will be the chance to have another drink in the Last Chance Saloon. Will we win? On the first half performance, no. But if we play from now to the end of the season as we did in the second half, we might just beat the drop. Come on City!
By David Osgerby