Writer: Matt Wilson
Date:Sunday December 4 2005
Sat, Decenber 3rd (3.p.m)
Hull City recorded their first win in seven yesterday against a distinctly average Cardiff City.
Hull made two changes with Matt Duke starting in goal in the place of suspended Boaz Myhill, and Andy Dawson returned to left back. The absence in the City team was of Curtis Woodhouse, meaning Damien Delaney moved into midfield. A move that would have had many City fans worried, but what a game Damien had! Sergio Leite, Keith Andrews and Jason Price all returned to the bench.
The game had a slow start with both teams passing the ball around in the middle of the park. Cardiff tried to get forward but any crosses were comfortably dealt with by Cort and Collins.
City's first attack came when Delaney's ball into the area was poorly cleared. Paynter headed the ball down for Fagan, but he snatched at the shot and sent it wide of the post.
Cameron Jerome and Billy Paynter both had chances but failed to either connect or to get any real power behind their respective efforts.
Near the half hour mark, Koumas came into life. A mazy run towards the edge of the box beat three men, but his shot was well pushed away for a corner by Duke diving to his left. From the corner, Koumas received the ball but drilled a shot wide of the post. Cardiff's two best chances of the first half.
Darren Purse was cautioned on forty minutes for a late tackle on Craig Fagan near the corner flag. The referee let Hull play on, but Barmby's cross was poor and unable to find anyone in the middle.
Both teams remained unchanged for the start of the second half. A minute in, Collins handled near the edge of the area. Koumas struck the free-kick, but Duke made a smart stop tipping it over the crossbar.
Five minutes in, the ball broke to Paynter, but his drive from the edge of the area hit Loovens and deflected away from goal. Another Koumas free-kick went wide as both teams looked for the vital first goal.
Elliott replaced the disappointing Barmby on 60 minutes. A minute later, Cardiff were down to ten men. Darren Purse, already cautioned, was shown a second yellow card for dissent after again fouling Craig Fagan. This was Hull's chance!
Neil Cox came on to replace Paul Parry, and on 69 minutes, the Tigers took the lead. Skilful play from Fagan on the right beat three men. His low cross found Paynter who had reacted quicker than the defender and goalkeeper to tap the ball into the bottom corner from three yards out.
City then started to fall back. Koumas again went narrowly wide with a free-kick, but this really looked the only way Cardiff were going to get back into this game.
With just over two minutes to go, the Tigers made sure of all three points. Elliott played a delightful cross-field ball to Fagan who was set clear. He steadied himself before firing past the goalkeeper into the bottom corner.
In added time, Paynter left the field to a standing ovation as he was replaced by Keith Andrews, which was a welcome return to see in a Tigers shirt once again after being injured since the third game of the season away at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
With Cardiff looking beaten, it was a comfortable victory for the Tigers.
Date:Sunday December 4 2005
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