Report: Hull City 1 - 0 Barnsley
Hull City continued their good recent form as victory over Burnley moved City up to 5th, and with favourable results at the Weekend, 4 points behind Cardiff City at the top of the league.
The side which returned to the KC following a 2-1 win at Bristol City started against Barnsley and, despite the ease with which City won, the one goal advantage meant that the lead was always a slender one vulnerable to a moment of brilliance or defensive lapse.
City`s advantage and dominance over Barnsley was far greater than the score line suggested and, despite Barnsley`s possession and City`s tendency to sit deep as the game wore on in the second half, Ben Amos was never tested in the City goal apart from two efforts which were struck over from distance.
City could have added to their lead after the early opener. Aluko took a short corner and after exchanging passes with Elmohamady, a poor defensive header saw the ball fall back to Aluko. He controlled and shot from a narrow angle, under Luke Steele for his second goal in as many games.
Koren was City`s main threat, heading over from a near post corner before twice being denied by Steele from traditional long range efforts. Barnsley`s efforts at the other end were made more difficult by playing no recognised striker, despite Marlon Harewood having been dropped to the bench following Barnsley`s 4-1 home defeat the week before, a game in which he scored.
The second half saw much of the same, although an injury to Alex Bruce and the reversion to 4-4-2 following the introduction of Andy Dawson gave Barnsley greater opportunities, with Corry Evans twice producing goal saving challenges. As City searched for a second, Steel e fumbled a long-range shot from Quinn which Aluko did not follow in before also denying Simpson with a close range stop after good work from Elmohamady.
The game will not be a memorable one come the end of the season but on a weekend when several promotion rivals all lost, the three points were vital in keeping up City`s momentum in what will be a very difficult month.