Last-gasp Tigers claim vital win
Published : 08 Nov 2009 20:45:00
Hull manager Phil Brown breathed again as Seyi Olofinjana and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink fired his side to a priceless 2-1 Barclays Premier League win over 10-man Stoke. The struggling Tigers had been heading for yet another damaging defeat - and Brown possibly for the sack - after Matthew Etherington's first-half strike at the KC Stadium. But Hull were rewarded for their greater endeavour as Olofinjana levelled against his former club - and substitute Vennegoor of Hesselink won it in the final minute, moments after Abdoulaye Faye was sent off. Hull had looked a different side for the presence of record signing Jimmy Bullard, making his long-awaited home debut after 10 injury-ravaged months. They started with determination and Bullard, playing as Brown made five changes for what had been billed as a do-or-die match, was immediately to the fore. But the opener came in the 29th minute as Etherington raced onto a long ball from Ryan Shawcross down the right and burst into the area unchallenged to beat Matt Duke at the near post. Olofinjana claimed a superb equaliser just after the hour mark. Collecting the ball from Stephen Hunt, the Nigerian turned two players on the edge of the area before clipping a curling shot over Thomas Sorensen and into the top corner. Hull survived a scare with eight minutes remaining when Glenn Whelan lofted in a free-kick and Ryan Shawcross hit the bar with a looping header. Stoke were then left hanging on after Faye was dismissed with eight minutes remaining as a late challenge on Nick Barmby earned a second yellow card. And Vennegoor of Hesselink, who had just come off the bench, was on hand to score the winner after a Bullard shot was beaten out by Sorensen.