Hull City’s perfect start to the season came to an abrupt end as they were beaten 4-1 at Fleetwood Town on Friday night.
The Tigers conceded their first league goals of the campaign, meaning that George Honeyman’s first half strike, which brought his side level, proved academic on a wet and windy evening at Highbury.
Grant McCann made just the one change to his starting eleven following last weekend’s win against Plymouth Argyle as Mallik Wilks returned from injury to take the place of Josh Magennis, who is currently away on international duty with Northern Ireland. Youngster Billy Chadwick was included amongst the substitutes.
The Tigers’ new grey away kit made its first appearance of the campaign on a windy night on the west coast, and it was Wilks that was the first to threaten with a shot that deflected into the hands of Fleetwood goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler.
Fleetwood then threatened down their right as Wes Burns got in behind but a poor ball in was cleared and, as the action then went to the other end, Reece Burke managed to get a touch on Honeyman’s corner but the ball came back off the crossbar.
It was the home side that went in front in the 17th minute as the Tigers conceded in the league for the first time this season. Harvey Saunders took possession on the right before cutting into the box and beating Matt Ingram with a low finish.
Just four minutes later, it was 1-1. Some fine play from Keane Lewis-Potter saw him send Wilks into the box and, when his effort was only half-blocked, the ball rolled nicely for Honeyman to finish from close range.
Wilks must have been close to winning a penalty for his side shortly after but the referee opted not to blow the whistle when the striker went down inside the area, while Josh Emmanuel’s low effort was fielded by Leutwiler.
Ingram made a fine save to deny Saunders after he’d got on the end of a fine set-piece delivery from Danny Andrew and that meant that the sides turned around level.
Fleetwood were back in front just over a minute into the second half. A loose pass in midfield was ceased upon by Saunders who nipped in to put Callum Camps through and he finished past Ingram.
The Tigers threatened to hit back quickly as Hakeeb Adelakun was denied by Leutwiler and a ball in from Wilks flashed across the face of goal.
A first change by the visitors saw Thomas Mayer replace Daniel Batty, but with the wind behind them Fleetwood were getting on top and they added a third goal in the 67th minute as Saunders bagged his second of the game with a neat finish from a right-wing cross.
Ingram made a terrific double save, the second of which denied Saunders his hat-trick, as Fleetwood threatened to wrap the game up, and they did just that 17 minutes from time as Sam Stubbs headed in from a corner to make it 4-1 and complete the evening’s scoring.
Fleetwood Town: Jayson Leutwiler, Danny Andrew, Glenn Whelan, Wes Burns, Ched Evans (Mark Duffy 90), Callum Camps, Paul Coutts (Jay Matete 88), Paddy Madden, Harvey Saunders (James Hill 88), Sam Stubbs, Harrison Holgate.
Subs Not Used: Alex Cairns, Barrie McKay, Gerard Garner, Ryan Rydel.
Hull City: Matt Ingram; Josh Emmanuel, Reece Burke, Jordy de Wijs, Callum Elder; Daniel Batty (Thomas Mayer 56), Greg Docherty, George Honeyman; Hakeeb Adelakun (Regan Slater 76), Mallik Wilks (Martin Samuelsen 87), Keane Lewis-Potter.
Subs Not Used: George Long, Lewie Coyle, Alfie Jones, Billy Chadwick.
Referee: Mr O. Yates.