Hull lost for only the third time in 21 games as Burnley left the KC with all 3 points in this clash of the playoff chasers. Debutant Nathan Delfouneso scored the only goal of the game after 3 minutes to boost ‘the Clarets’ chances of an immediate return to the premier league.
Hull, who went into the game off the back of a 1-0 win at Nottingham Forest, worked visiting keeper Lee Grant on a number of occasions but couldn’t find the equaliser as Burnley stood strong to ensure they returned to Lancashire with a maximum return.
Burnley made the breakthrough when a Ross Wallace corner was hit low, stepped over by Jack Cork and Jay Rodriguez fired towards goal, Delfouneso found himself with plenty of space to flick out a leg and guide the ball past fellow Aston villa loanee Brad Guzan in the Hull goal.
The early goal gave Hull a setback and the match turned into a lot of possession play and midfield battles. James Harper sent a couple of long range shots over the bar as Hull pulled themselves back into a stronghold in the match. For Burnley, Chris Eagles was showing why he once played in the Premiership for Manchester United with touches of class and sensational cross field passes. Wallace had a dipping shot from 18 yards well held by Guzan but it was Hull who had the best chance of the half; Rob Koren’s through ball found Matty Fryatt who cut inside Clarke Carlisle before shooting past Grant, unfortunately for Hull and Fryatt, his shot wasn’t well hit and Michael Duff got back to clear the ball off the line and away. The ball found its way back to Koren whose powerful shot was saved by Grant. Hull’s fans refound their voices as their team showed they were capable of creating openings whilst Burnley showed they were perfectly capable of hitting the hosts on the counter attack.
After half time, it was clear that a mistake would provide the next goal and it almost came straight from the kick off as Harper gave the ball straight to Rodriguez whose shot whistled just past the post. Burnley began to sit deeper and deeper, inviting pressure from Hull who again went close through Corry Evans, the midfielder found himself in acres of space on the right hand side of the penalty area, his shot was superbly saved by Grant and the resulting corner was cleared to safety. On 70 minutes, Grant prevented a Hull equaliser, getting down to James Harper’s flick at the near post. Whilst giving a resolute defensive performance, Burnley still showed attacking prowess, Jay Rodriguez twice going close. The last ten minutes petered out as Hull continued their obsession of short passes across the back four and into James Harper in the hope of creating something. A lack of width meant that Burnley fullbacks Tyrone Mears and Danny Fox didn’t face any real threat that might have seen them pick up second yellow cards.
The final whistle sounded leaving Hull fans wondering what to think, not the best performance but on another day it could have been a 3 or 4 goal victory for the Tigers. Burnley fans on the other hand will have looked at the league table and seen their team has moved up to 7th, 3 points off the playoffs but with 2 games in hand, Hull drop to 9th, 7 points off the playoffs. The final quarter of the season will bring many twist and turns and both these teams will want to push on towards the playoffs.
By Jack Shoemark at the KC Stadium.
Hull: Brad Guzan, Liam Rosenior, James Chester, Anthony Gerrard, Andy Dawson, Robert Koren, James Harper (Jay Simpson 87), Corry Evans, Aaron Mclean, Matty Fryatt, Nick Barmby, (David Amoo 72).
Subs Not Used: Mark Oxley, Jack Hobbs, Richard Garcia, Tom Cairney, Tijani Belaid.
Burnley: Lee Grant, Danny Fox, Clarke Carlisle, Mike Duff, Tyrone Mears, Dean Marney, Chris Eagles (Chris Iwelumo 82), Jack Cork, Ross Wallace(Wade Elliott 73), Jay Rodriguez, Nathan Delfenseo.
Subs Not Used: Brian Jensen, David Edgar, Marvin Bartley, Andre Bikey, Graham Alexander.
Referee: Darren Deadman