Ipswich Town 0-2 Hull City - Match Report
Saturday, 30th Mar 2019 17:02
Kamil Grosicki netted a goal in each half as Hull City defeated the Blues 2-0 at Portman Road. Town saw plenty of the ball throughout and had the ball cleared off the line twice in the first half but the Tigers were far more clinical with Polish international Grosicki taking opportunities in the 14th and 49th minutes and the visitors never looked in much trouble once they had established their two-goal lead.
The Blues were without Matthew Pennington, who has suffered a season-ending ankle injury, and Teddy Bishop, while Collin Quaner dropped to the bench.
Pennington, who has been on loan for the season from Everton, was replaced at the centre of the defence by Toto Nsiala, while Cole Skuse returned alongside Jon Nolan and Trevoh Chalobah for Bishop in midfield. Up front, Kayden Jackson started.
Hull made four changes with Todd Kane, Eric Lichaj, Jordy de Wijs and Dan Batty coming into the side.
Town made the early running, winning a number of corners in the opening minutes but without seriously testing Tigers goalkeeper and skipper David Marshall.
Hull threatened for the first time on 10, when Blues skipper Luke Chambers diverted a header from a Kamil Grosicki freekick wide.
Soon after, Jackson Irvine’s shot from the edge of the box looped goalwards under the bar but was confidently claimed by Bartosz Bialkowski.
However, in the 14th minute the Tigers went ahead. A low ball in from the right was cleverly dummied by Marc Pugh and found its way to Fraizer Campbell, who fed Grosicki to his left and the Polish international struck a low shot which Nsiala was unable to prevent from hitting the net.
Town suffered a further blow four minutes later when Jon Nolan was forced off with an injury following treatment on the pitch. Andre Dozzell replaced the Liverpudlian midfielder.
On 21 Myles Kenlock hit the Blues’ first shot of the afternoon having cut in from the left but sent the ball well over the bar with his right foot.
Eight minutes later, Gwion Edwards was booked for a late challenge on Lichaj, the Welshman appearing to have lost his footing as the ball was played forward.
As the game reached the half-hour mark the Blues began to get on top and dominate possession, with sub Dozzell and Alan Judge increasingly influential, however, as has become so familiar in recent months, without being able to create a clear-cut opportunity.
On 34 Judge’s cross from the right eventually fell to Edwards but his curled effort was too high, the Irishman having switched to the right and the Welshman to the left.
Town continued to press and three minutes later, a superb, curling Bree cross from the right reached Edwards at the far post but the winger was unable to get enough on the ball to direct it towards goal.
Soon after, Hull were forced into a change with Beccles-born former Canary Chris Martin taking over from the injured Campbell.
The game briefly fell flat with Hull winning a succession of freekicks around the halfway line before the Blues regained the upper hand and came very close to getting on terms.
After an excellent move down the right involving Judge, Chalobah and Dozzell, Bree sent over a cross which eventually fell to Jackson. The striker worked himself space and shot goalwards but the ball was blocked by Lichaj on the line blocked.
In four minutes of injury time, Jarrod Bowen hit a shot which deflected through to Bialkowski, then a wayward Kenlock pass led to a Hull attack but Nsiala slid in to block Pugh’s shot.
Seconds before the whistle Town had the ball cleared off the line for a second time. Judge whipped over a left-sided corner to the near post, Edwards flicked on towards goal but Pugh was on hand to clear.
The half had been a microcosm of most of the Blues’ recent performances. They had been good on the ball and on top for the most part but without having turned that superiority into goals at one end, while conceding disappointingly at the other.
However, Town could count themselves unlucky to be behind at the break on this occasion with Jackson and Edwards both having had the ball cleared off the line.
The Blues began the second half as the had ended the first on the front foot but five minutes after the restart the Tigers doubled their lead with Grosicki again the man on target.
Bowen brought the ball forward from very deep, beating Skuse just over the halfway line when it looked like Hull’s 21-goal top scorer had been dispossessed, before feeding Grosicki, who hit a low shot across Bialkowski and into the net off the inside of the post to claim his seventh of the season.
On 55 Town had a more than decent chance to get back on terms. Edwards picked up a loose Hull pass midway inside the Tigers half and found Judge, but the Irish international curled his shot wide.
The Blues threatened again in the 57th minute, a trademark clever Dozzell pass finding Jackson, who shot over from an angle to the right of goal.
Town continued to press and just after the hour mark Bree shot over from the right of the box. Seconds later, Quaner took over from Jackson, the German lining up on the left with Judge in the middle. On 63 Marshall was booked for time-wasting as the former Norwich man prepared to take a goalkick.
A minute later, Judge broke into the area on the left and sent in a low cross which Jordy de Wijs diverted only just past the near post.
Town had what looked a not too ambitious claim for a penalty in the 70th minute when Chalobah tried to take the ball past Todd Kane in the area and the ball appeared to strike his hand.
The Blues were continuing to take the game to Hull but without ever really convincing that they would grab the goal which would get them back in the game. The Tigers meanwhile were happy enough just to sit on their lead.
On 74 Idris El Mizouni was handed his home debut as a sub for Skuse, while the Tigers swapped the injured Reece Burke for Robbie McKenzie. Six minutes later De Wijs was yellow-carded for a foul.
In the 85th minute Bialkowski, largely a spectator since Hull’s second goal, was out quickly to claim at Bowen’s feet after a Hull break.
Town continued to huff and puff in the final minutes but without ever really looking like they would get the goal which would give them a foothold in the match. On the visitors swapped two-goal Grosicki for Evandro.
Sub El Mizouni hit a well-struck effort from the edge of the box which Marshall claimed comfortably on 88.
In injury time Pugh almost made it 3-0 when he curled a shot on to the post following a Hull break, then at the other end Quaner’s low shot was saved down to his right by Marshall.
Soon after, with the home support still singing loudly and getting behind their team, referee John Brooks’s whistle confirmed the Tigers’ victory and the extension of the Blues’ winless run to 12 matches.
The game was a familiar tale for Town, who had plenty of the ball and passed it around slickly at times but were unable to turn their possession into goals.
At the other end, Hull were given two goals out of nothing to claim their first away win of 2019 and once the Blues were two goals behind the visitors’ victory was never in any real doubt.
The Blues remain 13 points from safety at the bottom of the table with only seven left to play with a visit to 23rd-placed Bolton - who won 2-1 at QPR today to extend their lead over Town to eight points - their next fixture on Saturday.
Town: Bialkowski, Bree, Chambers (c), Nsiala, Kenlock, Skuse (El Mizouni 74), Chalobah, Nolan (Dozzell 18), Edwards, Judge, Jackson (Quaner 61). Unused: Gerken, Knudsen, Downes, Emmanuel.
Hull City: Marshall (c), Lichaj, De Wijs, Burke (McKenzie 74), Pugh, Groskicki (Evandro 87), Irvine, Kane, Batty, Bowen, Campbell (Martin 38). Unused: Long, Stewart, Milinkovic, McKenzie, Ridgewell. Referee: John Brooks (Leicestershire). Att: 15,720 (Hull: 485).
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