Hull City 2 Wigan Athletic 1: match report
Phil Brown banned his Hull City players from the training ground cafeteria ahead of this game against Wigan Athletic and his unorthodox methods reaped rich rewards as his players finally stopped making a make a meal out of life in the Premier League. Second-half goals from Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink and Geovanni eased the pressure on Brown as they secured Hull only their third Premier League victory this year and second this season to enable the Yorkshire club to climb out of the relegation zone. Brown ordered his players to fend for themselves as he withdrew what a club official said today were "a number of privileges" following the 6-1 defeat by Liverpool and they responded magnificently by putting victory on a plate for their manager. Vennegoor of Hesselink settled Hull's nerves with the breakthrough goal on the hour when he beat Paul Scharner to Dean Marney's near-post header and directed a powerful downward header past Chris Kirkland. It was the Dutch striker's first goal in Hull colours since he headed to the KC Stadium as a free agent at the end of August after spending the summer training with Steve McClaren at his hometown club FC Twente. The former Celtic player, who could have been forgiven for wondering what he had let himself in for under Brown and his unconventional ideas, galvanised his team-mates and soon the outcome of the contest was effectively decided. Geovanni was able to slot the ball beyond Kirkland from close range thanks to the short-comings of Wigan centre-half Emmerson Boyce and the enterprise of Hull midfielder Kamil Zayatte. Boyce's loose pass to Scotland was cut out by Zayatte on the half-way line and he charged towards the by-line, wrong-footing the defender before knocking over a delightful cross that gave his Brazilian colleague the easiest of chances in the 69th minute. Despite deploying midfielder Kevin Kilbane at centre-alf, Hull looked as comfortable as Wigan looked listless as they came down to earth with a bump following last weekend's 3-1 defeat of Chelsea. However, a couple of changes by Roberto Martinez finally paid off when Scott Sinclair nodded a loose ball over Boaz Myhill after the goalkeeper had failed to hold a shot from the Chelsea player's fellow substitute Jordi Gomez in the 87th minute to set up a nerve-jangling finale.
Related Hull City News