Home disappointment strikes again for Hull City as Blackburn record four wins on the bounce


Hull City was struck down again by their poor home form as they went 1-0 down to a buoyant Blackburn Rovers in an entertaining game on Humberside.

Sammie Szmodics’ first-half goal was enough to settle the proceedings in a game where City had not done enough to trouble Thomas Kaminski in the Blackburn goal. With the man of the match, Tyler Morton pulling the strings in Rovers midfield, the damage was done in the opening half as the visitors took the game to City, capitalising on home nerves in front of the 18,843 crowd.

Szmodics had already missed a good chance moments before he opened the scoring. When faced with the opportunity to get a shot on target after some uncertain defender, the forward could only drag his effort well wide of Baxter’s goal.

However, the former Peterborough man would soon turn from zero to hero. Following some nice interchange, Szmodics was found well by an intelligent Adam Wharton pass inside the left channel of the box. And with the angle seemingly against him, Szmodics’ accurate shot flew past Nathan Baxter into his far corner which proved to be the match-winner.

With a change of personnel at half time, Andy Dawson moved Jacob Greaves across to his more customary position at centre back with Brandon Fleming replacing Alfie Jones to give City greater attacking potential along the left-hand side. With Ozan Tufan brought into midfield in place of Michel Seri, the home side was a far greater threat playing higher up the pitch.

Demetrios Pelkas should have brought the game level on 58 minutes but having been superbly picked out by Regan Slater’s pinpoint cross, the midfielder could only place his header into the ground from 8 yards, leaving Kaminski a relieved man as the ball bounced harmlessly over his crossbar.

Sam Gallagher was denied by a superb Nathan Baxter save just moments after Tobi Figueiredo failed to gamble enough on Pelkas’ inswinging corner which would have seen him head past Kaminski with the Rovers keeper stranded.

Rovers saw the game out with relative ease as City stuttered to generate any real momentum in the final 10 minutes. Having failed to register a single draw this campaign, Rovers are now 7 wins in 11 outings and are looking a strong Championship outfit.

Coach Jon Dahl Tomasson was delighted with his young side’s performance

“Each game is important. We go on to the pitch to win every game we play. We will lose some games but, at the end of the day, it’s about doing the right things. We need to give credit to the lads and the way they are creating this great team spirit. It’s a young squad and they are enjoying themselves. We all know how difficult it is. This is a great league but it was a well-deserved win.”

“First half defensively, we controlled the game and then scored a great goal. We should probably have scored more goals in the first half. That was the only thing I was disappointed about – we should have killed the game in the first half. They didn’t have one shot on target. It was a great win and a good performance and it’s good to see that we can give something back to our fans.”

Adam Wharton and Tyler Morton’s performance in midfield was outstanding for players aged both 18 and 19. Whereas there is a greater expectation on Morton, on loan from Liverpool, the pair showed maturity beyond their tender ages against a relatively experienced Hull City midfield. Both players registered in the mid-’80s for pass percentage completion with neither player conceding a foul, which perhaps said more about Hull’s difficulty to press higher against the duo.

During the first half particularly, the pair controlled the game with ease as City failed to put the youngsters under pressure. Their dominance led to Dawson changing his midfield dynamic with Ozan Tufan deployed to cause the pair a greater problem but the Turkish midfielder rarely threatened.

To a man, Rovers were solid, compact and when needed, had the ability to cause Hull problems on the break. Content once they had gone ahead, they were prepared to let the home side have more of the ball but dealt with the majority of what City had to offer.

At full-time, Andy Dawson was pleased with the effort of his side but held his hands up that they were beaten by a very good Blackburn performance.

“First and foremost, I’ve got to give them credit, I thought they started the game really well and dominated in possession. We were probably a bit passive, something we’ve not been of late.

“We probably had one or two really good chances where, at this level against top-end teams you’re not going to create loads, you’ve got to finish. Demi (Pelkas), you’d fancy him to score. I’ve just seen the cornerback where Tobi (Figueiredo) is yards away, he literally has to touch the ball and it goes in.

“They are the small margins between the teams that end up at the top and the teams that end up at the bottom. I’ve got to give our lads credit for the second half because they had a real good go, they didn’t feel sorry for themselves. They showed more creativity, more resilience to get on the ball, they just lacked that final detail in the final third.”

Blackburn will face Coventry on Tuesday evening with a venue still to be confirmed following continual issues at the Ricoh Arena but Tomasson was adamant that his players will not have their preparations disrupted but was more concerned for his travelling supporters that will have booked time off work and paid good money to be supporting their team.

“I’m very flexible, the lads won’t be disturbed. We are planning to play the games, I am just disappointed for the fans. They don’t know where we are playing and they have to travel. They will know maybe the day before. That’s not right to act for the supporters, football is for the fans. We will deal with the situation. I won’t complain about the rules. I just think about our fans.”

City will entertain Middlesbrough on Tuesday evening hoping to arrest their concerning home form and may well have a new man at the helm with Liam Rosenior set to join the club this week.

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