Hull City

Sheffield Wednesday 0-1 Hull City: Report

01 January 2020
Hull City made a winning start to 2020 with a 1-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday on New Year’s Day.

Jarrod Bowen scored the only goal of the game at Hillsborough, finding the back of the net with a fine first-time finish from George Honeyman’s centre on 61 minutes. The win saw the Tigers move up to eighth in the Sky Bet Championship table, just one point off the play-offs.

Grant McCann made three changes to his side for the short trip to South Yorkshire. Matthew Pennington replaced the injured Stephen Kingsley to make his first league start since August, while Tom Eaves and Dan Batty replacing Josh Bowler and Leonardo Da Silva Lopes who were both included on the bench.

The Tigers enjoyed some early pressure down the left flank in the opening exchanges with Kamil Grosicki twice seeing crosses into the box blocked before Eric Lichaj saw his attempted strike on goal blocked by a man in blue and white before it could test Cameron Dawson in the Wednesday goal.

The hosts threatened for the first time in the ninth minute. A break down the Owls’ left saw the ball delivered into the Tigers’ box, with Lichaj well placed to head away the danger. His clearance was pounced on by Barry Bannan though, who fired a stinging volley wide of the target from distance.

Both sides then missed decent opportunities to open the scoring in quick succession. Sam Winnall fired wide from Kadeem Harris’ cross when well placed ten yards out before – at the other end – Pennington could only divert Grosicki’s corner wide of the target at the back post.

Dominic Iorfa was lucky to avoid the first yellow card of the afternoon for a high challenge on Grosicki. From the resulting free-kick, a training ground routine almost brought rewards but Bowen’s delivery from Batty’s pass was eventually claimed by Dawson after the goalkeeper failed to claim the initial cross.

The card did come out moments later though when Julian Borner was cautioned for a foul on Bowen 35 yards from the Wednesday goal. Grosicki fired the resulting set-piece on target but his curling effort was comfortably gathered by Dawson on this occasion.

The Tigers looked to have carved open the home defence on the half-hour mark when Bowen’s through ball released Grosicki, but a one recovery tackle from Iorfa prevented the Pole’s first-time effort from working Dawson.

It was then Wednesday’s turn to exert some pressure as Garry Monk’s came close to breaking the deadlock on 35 minutes. Good play from Nuhiu created a shooting opportunity for Harris inside the box and his low effort looked to be heading for the back of the net until a timely intervention from Pennington on the goal-line.

The final action of the opening 45 minutes saw Honeyman denied by Dawson after being played in cleverly by Bowen, although it wouldn’t have counted had it gone with the assistant’s flag raised for offside against the Tigers’ man.

The home side made their first change at the break with top scorer Steven Fletcher introduced into the action in place of Atdhe Nuhiu.¬†And the Owls’ substitute came close to making a quick impact when denied by the frame of the goal five minutes after the restart. Bannan’s corner led to a goalmouth scramble and chaos inside the Tigers’ box with George Long producing a fine initial save before Fletcher eventually poked the loose ball towards goal, only to see his effort come back of the post.

More Owls pressure saw a decent opening come the way of Harris on 57 minutes. Released down the left flank, the winger worked his way into the box before cutting inside to go past his man but could only send his effort high and wide of Long’s goal.

The deadlock was finally broken on 61 minutes – with the goal coming the way of the Tigers. Great play down the left from Honeyman saw the midfielder advance into the Wednesday box and his intelligent pull-back was converted in emphatic fashion by Bowen for his 17th goal of the campaign.

A second goal should have followed four minutes later when the home defence was caught at sixes and sevens following Irvine’s perfectly-weighted through ball. Although Grosicki saw his progress halted by Iorfa, the ball dropped invitingly for the Pole again following a scramble inside the box only for his poked effort to clear the crossbar.

McCann made his first change on 72 minutes, with Da Silva Lopes replacing Honeyman in midfield, which saw Irvine switch to the number 10 role behind Eaves.

Wednesday almost found a leveller 15 minutes from time when Fletcher bent a free-kick narrowly wide before McCann responded with a double change on 79 minutes as Lewis-Potter and Bowler replaced Grosicki and Eaves.

As the game entered the final ten minutes, Jordan Rhodes – introduced into the action as a 60th-minute replacement for Sam Winnall – glanced a header wide of the target from Jacob Murphy’s right-wing cross, although Long appeared confident the effort was always heading off target.

Bannan was booked for a foul on Bowler before the fourth official indicated there would be a minimum of four minutes added time. There was one brief scare in stoppage-time as Murphy delivered a superb cross into the box but no-one in blue and white could apply the all-important finishing touch and the Tigers held on to register back-to-back wins for the first time since early November.

Sheffield Wednesday: Cameron Dawson, Fox, Harris, Barry Bannan, Sam Winnall (Jordan Rhodes 60), Julian Borner, Tom Lees, Atdhe Nuhiu (Steven Fletcher 46), Adam Reach (Jacob Murphy 64), Sam Hutchinson, Dominic Iorfa.

Subs Not Used: Joe Wildsmith, Kieran Lee, Joey Pelupessy, Moses Odubajo.

Hull City: George Long, Eric Lichaj, Jordy de Wijs, Reece Burke, Dan Batty, Tom Eaves (Josh Bowler 79), Kamil Grosicki (Keane Lewis-Potter 79), George Honeyman (Leonardo Da Silva Lopes 72), Jarrod Bowen, Brandon Fleming, Jackson Irvine.

Subs: Matt Ingram, Ryan Tafazolli, Robbie McKenzie, Matthew Pennington.

Att: 24,342

Referee: Mr J. Simpson