Stoke City claimed all three points as they overcame Hull City 1-0 in a scrappy encounter at the Britannia Stadium.
A second-half goal from Peter Odemwingie was the difference between the two sides after Hull’s Liam Rosenior had wasted a golden opportunity in the first-half – heading over from close range.
Stoke City came into the game fresh from their first away win since August in the shape of a 4-1 victory over Aston Villa. Of the side that picked up the three point Mark Hughes made one change bringing in Stephen Ireland at the expense of once Hull transfer target Wilson Palacios.
Steve Bruce was forced upon a change with the news that goalkeeper Allan McGregor would be out for the rest of the season with a serious kidney injury, Steve Harper was the man to replace the Scot. Elsewhere Maynor Figueroa made way with Liam Rosenior coming back into the side shaking off injury concerns.
Stoke City: Begovic – Cameron – Pieters – Shawcross – Wilson – N’Zonzi – Whelan – Ireland – Arnautovic – Odemwingie – Crouch
Subs: Muniesa – Palacios – Adam – Guidetti – Etherington – Wilkinson – Sorensen
Hull City: Harper – Rosenior – Davies – Bruce – Chester – Elmohamady – Meyler – Huddlestone – Livermore – Jelavic – Long
Subs: Figueroa – Koren – Fryatt – Jakupovic – Sagbo – Aluko – Quinn
Hull City started the better of the two teams with their fast passing flowing moves causing Stoke all kinds of problems. It took however, until the 9th minute for the Tigers to really test Asmir Begovic in the Stoke goal when Tom Huddlestone tied himself up for a rasping shot which the keeper palmed behind for a corner.
The golden chance of the first-half came in the 13th minute from the unlikely source of Liam Rosenior. The left wing-back, fresh from scoring his first Tigers goal in the 2-0 win over West Brom, should have doubled his tally when Shane Long spotted his diagonal darting run into the box only for his header from six yards to go over the bar.
Stoke did settle into the game but the quality from both sides diminished as the half wore on, Peter Odemwingie scuffed a 30-yard shot well wide just before the 30 minute mark.
It took Stoke until the 40th minute for the home side to get a shot on goal when Ireland found Arnautovic on the edge of the box but he couldn’t connect cleanly with the ball and it trickled through to Harper.
Stoke threatened almost immediately at the start of the second-half when Odemwingie struck a shot which Harper gathered at the second attempt.
The visitors at the Britannia wasted a great opportunity in the 53rd minute when Jake Livermore played a one-two with Jelavic with the latter feeding the midfielder towards the right side of the box. The on-loan Spurs man looked to play in Jelavic again but his pass was intercepted by Ryan Shawcross in the Stoke defence.
Two minutes later and Hull were threatening again when David Meyler had an effort from range which took a deflection seeing Begovic pull off a superb save, the rebound fell to Jelavic but he couldn’t adjust himself quickly enough and his effort went wide.
The game defining moment occurred in the 61st minute when under no pressure Elmohamady looked to switch the play to Davis only for Odemwingie to intercept before advancing towards the goal and striking a low shot past Harper to give Stoke the breakthrough.
As Hull pressed for the leveller it saw the game stretched and Stoke looked to capitalise on the added space in the centre of the park. Crouch played a neat ball into the path in the 72nd minute with the midfielder being denied when Liam Rosenior blocked his shot.
Stoke are often criticised for their long ball tactics and almost profited from it when Begovic played a goal-kick high to Crouch whose flicked header found Odemwingie. The striker neatly played a back-heeled ball into Arnautovic who squared it to Ireland but the latter’s shot was straight at Harper.
Stoke held on for all three points but in truth it was a poor game, Hull stated the game brightly but Steve Bruce won’t be happy with their second-half performance.
Published on March 29 2014 for KingFut.