Hull City were beaten 3-2 by Sky Bet Championship leaders Norwich City at Carrow Road on Wednesday night.
The Tigers conceded two early goals to hand control to the Canaries, although Marc Pugh got the visitors back into the game just before the break. Norwich struck again on the hour to reopen a two-goal lead before Chris Martin headed in late to put the match back in the balance, the home side holding on.
Nigel Adkins made three changes to his starting eleven following last weekend’s defeat at Nottingham Forest. Liam Ridgewell, Kevin Stewart and Fraizer Campbell came into the side with Jordy de Wijs, Kamil Grosicki and former Norwich man Chris Martin made way.
The changes saw Jackson Irvine start in a wider position than of late and the Australian almost had a chance with three minutes played following good work by Markus Henriksen down the right, but Norwich defender Max Aaarons got in to cover the danger.
A foul on Jarrod Bowen then presented the Tigers with a free kick 25 yards out. Bowen took it himself and was so unlucky to see his effort hit the angle of post and bar.
However, despite the promising start from the visitors, it was Norwich who took the lead ten minutes in. Marco Stiepermann cut in from the flank too easily, beating a couple of players before firing past David Marshall from ten yards.
The lead was doubled four minutes later. Stiepermann knocked a ball through for Onel Hernandez and although his shot was saved, as was a follow-up effort from Teemu Pukki, Emiliano Buendia was there to knock home.
Campbell had a half-chance to bring the visitors back into it following a nice pass from Pugh, but it at the other end that another almost came as Marshall was forced to make an excellent stop from Buendia’s powerful effort.
Pukki missed a good chance as he fired across goal and Stiepermann fired a powerful 25-yard strike just over the bar before Todd Kane was booked for a robust challenge on Buendia.
Marshall made a smart save to prevent a speculative ball in from Hernandez finding the far corner of the net before the Tigers got themselves back into the game as the half entered added time. Campbell pressurised Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul into a poor clearance and when Henriksen’s ball in found Pugh and he found the net from the edge of the box.
Jamal Lewis picked up a booking early in the second half for sending Bowen crashing into the advertising hoardings and all of a sudden there was an uneasy feeling amongst the home fans as the Tigers forced Norwich into a few errors.
Reece Burke saw yellow for a foul on Hernandez before Norwich went 3-1 up on the hour. Buendia and Pukki exchanged clever passes for Buendia to grab his second of the game with a neat low finish.
Henriksen picked up his tenth yellow of the season after one too many fouls broke the referee’s patience ahead of a first change that saw David Milinkovic come on for Stewart and a second which saw Grosicki replace Bowen.
Pugh had penalty appeals turned down when he went down inside the box as he looked to get on the end of Campbell’s pass, before Campbell was replaced by Martin in the final ten minutes.
And it was Martin who brought the Tigers back to within a goal as he headed in from Grosicki’s cross four minutes from time.
Pugh sent a late shot wide from 20 yards after being set up by Milinkovic as the visitors were edged out.
Norwich City: Tim Krul, Ben Godfrey, Christoph Zimmermann, Jamal Lewis, Emiliano Buendia (Mario Vrancic 89), Marco Stiepermann (Moritz Leitner 85), Tom Trybull, Teemu Pukki, Kenny McLean, Onel Hernandez (Timm Klose 90), Max Aarons.
Subs Not Used: Michael McGovern, Jordan Rhodes, Timm Klose, Grant Hanley, Todd Cantwell.
Hull City: David Marshall, Todd Kane, Reece Burke, Liam Ridgewell, Eric Lichaj, Kevin Stewart (David Milinkovic 71), Markus Henriksen, Jarrod Bowen (Kamil Grosicki 72), Marc Pugh, Jackson Irvine, Fraizer Campbell (Chris Martin 81).
Subs Not Used: George Long, Robbie McKenzie, Stephen Kingsley, Evandro.
Referee: Mr A. Madley.