Tigers claw into promotion spots
Published : 11 Mar 2013 22:17:14Rss feed
Stephen Quinn ended Hull's Burnley hoodoo and closed Steve Bruce's men to within three points of Cardiff at the npower Championship summit with a 1-0 win away to Burnley.
Cardiff have two games in hand and can double their advantage with victory over Leicester on Tuesday night, but Hull are now their closest rivals for the title after capitalising on Watford and Crystal Palace's weekend woes to go second.
Following a listless first-half Quinn's calm finish in the 66th minute proved enough for City to end a run of seven consecutive defeats against Burnley, who came closest through substitute Sam Vokes when the game was goalless. Meanwhile, one win in nine games makes grim reading for Clarets boss Sean Dyche.
Quinn flashed a header wide for the visitors with 33 seconds played, while Burnley enjoyed encouragement of their own from Ross Wallace's eighth-minute corner - David Edgar's hooked shot blocked before Alex Kacaniklic smashed the loose ball narrowly past the angle of post and bar from 18 yards.
Snow was falling by the time Wallace let fly with a long-range effort that Hull goalkeeper David Stockdale did well to keep out, while from the resulting set piece, Chris McCann rose higher than the visitors' defence but could only head over.
City started to settle into a rhythm shortly after the half-hour and James Chester cut out an ambitious Keith Treacy pass to play in George Boyd, whose goalbound shot forced a last-ditch block from Michael Duff.
Alex Bruce shanked a volley off-target to conclude a sustained spell of pressure in the 44th minute, which summed up Hull's efforts to capitalise. Quinn's speculative strike from distance early in the second period presented home goalkeeper Lee Grant with a routine save and his first action of the evening.
Gedo handed Grant a more thorough examination in the 53rd minute, drawing a sharp near-post stop. Dyche sent on Vokes in place of Treacy and the Wales international striker almost made an immediate impact when he looped a glancing header from Charlie Austin's right-wing cross past the far post.
Steve Bruce went one better in the 64th minute with a double change, Robert Koren and Jay Simpson replacing Bruce Jnr and Gedo, that paid instant dividends. Koren drifted into space on the right and his cross found Simpson, whose calmly rolled pass teed-up Quinn to finish clinically.
Burnley failed to mount a sustained response, as Vokes saw a first-time effort deflected behind by Chester in the 75th minute, while 26-goal striker Austin, who has scored his side's only two goals in the past six games, might have levelled late on had he not misjudged a header from Vokes' centre.
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