Hull City 2-1 Stoke City - Match Report
Hull City 2-1 Stoke City
Hull City moved out of the bottom three by securing an important 2-1 victory against Stoke City at the KC Stadium.
The visitors took the lead in the first half through Matt Etherington's strike, but Phil Brown's men came back to clinch maximum points thanks to a superb effort by ex-Potter Seyi Olofinjana and a late winner from substitute Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink.
Jimmy Bullard, on his first Premier League start for the Tigers, tried his luck early on and came within inches of grabbing his first goal for the club but the midfielder's right-footed shot from 30 yards whistled just past Thomas Sorensen's right-hand post.
Ricardo Fuller then found space to fire in a shot for the Potters, but his low right-footed effort was parried away by Hull keeper Matt Duke.
Richard Garcia was then presented with a chance for the Tigers as a curling cross from Stephen Hunt found the Australian inside the six-yard box, but his tame header was easily collected by Sorensen.
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Despite the home side's, pressure it was Stoke that broke the deadlock on 29 minutes. A cross-field ball from Ryan Shawcross found its way to Etherington on the left and the ex-Spurs man had time and space to run in on goal before smashing the ball past a hapless Duke to register his second goal of the season.
Stoke came close to doubling their lead early in the second half when Hull defender Anthony Gardner dived in front of Etherington's low cross and sent the ball spinning towards his own goal but, fortunately for Brown's men, keeper Duke managed to deflect the ball off his back and wide for a corner.
Hull were back on level terms in the 62nd minute when Hunt slipped the ball in to Olofinjana who hit a superb right-footed shot from 20 yards into the top right-hand corner of the net to grab his first ever goal for the Tigers.
The visitors came close to re-taking the lead with ten minutes left on the clock when a clever free-kick by Glenn Whelan found Shawcross who did well to loop in a header from a tight angle only to see the ball came back off the crossbar.
Tony Pulis' side were reduced to ten men on 87 minutes when skipper Abdoulaye Faye received his second yellow card for bringing down substitute Nick Barmby with a reckless challenge.
Then, in stoppage time, Hull stole all three points. Bullard fired in a thundering effort from distance which Sorensen could only parry into the path of Hesselink who made no mistake from close range to seal Hull's third win of the season.
Hull City v Stoke City: As it happened
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