|Hull City 0 v 1 Ipswich Town|
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 23rd February 2021 Kick-off 19:00
Hull City 0-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Tuesday, 23rd Feb 2021 21:10
Town finally recorded a victory over one of League One’s higher flyers as James Norwood’s fourth goal of the season saw the Blues a 1-0 victory over Hull City at the KCOM Stadium. Norwood slammed home Myles Kenlock's superb cross-field pass in the 15th minute.
Boss Paul Lambert named an unchanged side, sticking with the same XI that drew 0-0 with Oxford at Portman Road on Saturday with Troy Parrott again playing off James Norwood up front.
Five-goal joint-top scorer Gwion Edwards returned to the 18 following his knock with Jack Lankester dropping out having played for the U23s this afternoon.
Hull made three changes from the team which drew 3-3 at Doncaster on Saturday with former Blues right-back Josh Emmanuel, Dan Crowley and Gavin Whyte coming into the line-up.
Skipper George Honeyman and Greg Docherty were in the XI despite suffering knocks at the Keepmoat Stadium, while ex-Blues loanee Callum Elder also started.
After both teams had taken a knee, with the exception of Toto Nsiala who remained standing as he did on Saturday, the game got under way with the wind blowing strongly.
Neither side, with Town wearing their light blue away strip, was able to carve out a chance in the early stages but with the game being almost entirely played in the Tigers half. On 12 Norwood battled himself some space on the edge of the box before hitting a shot which was blocked.
And in the 15th minute the Blues went in front. Kenlock played a superb ball from only a matter of yards inside the Tigers half on the left which, with the assistance of the wind, reached Norwood on the right of the box, from where the striker smashed a powerful first-time shot past Hull keeper Matt Ingram.
The Tigers continued to struggle to get going and in the 25th minute the Blues threatened again. Andre Dozzell fed in Parrott on the right of the box but the on-loan Tottenham man took too long over his low cross and it was blocked.
The Tigers finally showed some attacking threat as the half-hour mark approached, an Emmanuel cross was blocked and Dan Crowley’s shot deflected behind off Dozzell.
And there was a big scare for the Blues from the corner. Dozzell looked to have an easy clearance but inadvertently scuffed it to Crowley, who teed-up Keane Lewis-Potter but fortunately for Town the forward shot wide when it looked easier to score.
On 36 Hull had a free-kick in a dangerous position midway inside the Town half, following a foul by Dozzell on Honeyman, but the home skipper gifted the ball to Parrott a matter of feet away from him, the Irishman bringing it forward towards the Hull box but overhit his through pass to Bennetts.
The Blues continued to look the more likely scorer of the game’s second goal, Bennetts tricking his way into the area on the right before his cut-back was stopped by a Hull boot. From the position he’d got himself in a shot may have been a better option. In the 41st minute Nsiala was booked for a foul on Mallik Wilks.
Wilks, Hull’s top scorer with 17, tried to battle his way through several Town tackles moments before the whistle, claiming a penalty when he eventually fell, but referee Tom Nield wasn’t interested.
Town were well worth their lead at the break having had the better of the half and having had opportunities to create more openings in addition to Norwood’s well-taken goal from Kenlock’s excellent pass.
Hull had been poor but still might have gone in level had Lewis-Potter taken the opportunity which had been gifted to them from the corner.
Following their disappointing first-half display, the Tigers made a double change, swapping Crowley and Whyte for Josh Magennis and Alfie Jones.
Having reshuffled, the Tigers were first to threaten in the second half, Lewis-Potter hitting a low shot which may well have beaten Tomas Holy had it not struck James Wilson and deflected wide first.
But the home side were unable to maintain any pressure on the Town goal with the Blues soon regaining control.
Wilks was yellow-carded for a nothing foul on Kenlock on 56, then Bennetts joined him in the book three minutes later for slamming the ball into the ground having been harshly penalised.
As the match passed the hour mark, Kenlock tried to repeat his assist for Norwood’s first half goal, but this time the pass against the wind fell a little short and Ingram was able to come off his line to claim ahead of the Town striker.
Norwood, who had given the home defence major headaches all evening, had a big chance to double the Blues’ lead in the 64th minute when Jones lost out to Bennetts not far inside the Tigers half. The winger played Norwood in on goal, the former Tranmere man holding off a defender before shooting the wrong side of Ingram’s left post.
Three minutes later, Norwood tried his luck from just outside the area to the left but the ball flew wide and into the stand. On 69 Town swapped Alan Judge for Edwards.
Wilks scraped a rare Hull effort wide in the 71st minute with the Blues not looking particularly troubled by the Tigers, who had been head and shoulders above them in the fixture at Portman Road in November.
In the 76th minute, the ball was played down the left into the area for Norwood, who stumbled as he broke towards goal but held up to allow team-mates to join him. Eventually, he tried to find Bishop and the ball was deflected into the path of Parrott by a defender, however, the Irish international’s shot was blocked by Jacob Greaves. Moments later, Kenlock was booked for time-wasting.
Hull felt they should have been awarded a penalty in the 81st minute when Edwards appeared to bundle over Lewis-Potter as they battled for an overhit cross. The home side looked to have a good case.
A minute later, Aaron Drinan took over from Norwood, who could be very pleased with his shift, even if he will feel he should have scored at least one more goal.
As the match moved into its penultimate minute, Elder was booked for a foul on Parrott as the striker broke towards the area, the card looked a little harsh. As the Blues prepared to take the free-kick, Josh Harrop replaced Parrott, who like Norwood had caused the Hull defence more than a few problems.
Deep in injury time, Harrop spotted Bennetts making a run down the right into the area but the wideman blazed over. Soon after, referee Nield’s whistle confirmed a deserved three points for the Blues.
Probably Town’s best result and away performance of the season, particularly given the lesson they were taught by the Tigers in the fixture at Portman Road earlier in the season when the East Yorkshire side ran out 3-0 victors.
The Blues should have won more convincingly with Norwood having spurned an excellent second-half opportunity in addition to the good positions Bennetts and Parrott had got into before the break.
Hull passed up the gift handed to them by Dozzell in the first half and failed to trouble Holy throughout the 90 minutes, although they will believe they should have been awarded a second half penalty.
The win is the Blues' first against a side currently in the top six having lost all seven of their previous games against those teams, although they did beat Accrington when Stanley were in sixth earlier in the season.
It's also Town's first win in 15 against the Tigers and their first at the KCOM Stadium since their 5-2 victory in March 2007.
Four points from two tough games against form side Oxford and third-placed Hull would appear likely to have given manager Lambert, who it’s understood will hold his meeting with owner Marcus Evans on Thursday, a stay of execution, although with the Blues having won only twice in their last eight, there’s still much to do before a Town renaissance can be declared.
The Blues, who are up to 10th, five points off the play-offs, have another tough game on Saturday when Doncaster Rovers, who beat the Blues 4-1 away earlier in the campaign, are at Portman Road.
Hull City: Ingram, Elder, Burke, Wilks, Honeyman (c), Emmanuel, Lewis-Potter, Crowley (Jones 46), Whyte (Magennis 46), Greaves, Docherty. Unused: Long, Coyle, Scott, Flores, Slater.
Ipswich: Holy, Chambers (c), Nsiala, Wilson, Kenlock, Dozzell, Bishop, Bennetts, Judge (Edwards 69), Parrott (Harrop 90), Norwood (Drinan 82). Unused: Cornell, Ward, Sears, Matheson. Referee: Tom Nield (West Yorkshire).
Photo: Action Images
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