Barmby wins bragging rights with Koren cracker
Hull City 2 Leicester City 1
Sunday 04 December 2011
This was less a tale of two cities than of two managers: Nigel Pearson, the man who walked out on Hull 18 days previously to go back to Leicester, and Nick Barmby, his replacement as caretaker.
The pair shared an embrace at pitchside before kick-off but had contrasting afternoons as Pearson tasted the first defeat of his second spell as Leicester boss while Barmby celebrated his first home success at the helm of his hometown club. For the Hull fans who had greeted Pearson with the inevitable "greedy bastard" chants it must have felt pretty sweet too as their team bounced back from successive defeats to climb back above Leicester in the Championship.
Hull left it late, Robert Koren winning the game with a spectacular left-foot strike two minutes from time, but Barmby was delighted with their patient, passing approach against opponents reduced to 10 men by Matt Mills's 30th-minute red card.
"I was really proud of the lads that we didn't panic today. We have learned from the last two games, where we've been in the game and probably been the better team and panicked for 10 minutes and it has cost us," said Barmby, formerly Pearson's player-coach, who is caretaker on an open arrangement.
Even before Mills's dismissal Matty Fryatt had spurned an excellent opportunity to put Hull ahead, but was less profligate when sending Kasper Schmeichel the wrong way from the spot after Mills had fouled Aaron Mclean.
Referee Simon Hooper sent off the Leicester captain, who was guilty of a trip having initially denied Mclean with a fine block after Cameron Stewart had put the Hull man clear.
Pearson, who had no complaints about the red card, saw his team draw level after 41 minutes through a fine finish by Paul Konchesky, the left-back using his right foot to curl the loose ball into the far corner after Peter Gulacsi had blocked a shot by David Nugent.
Hull pressed Leicester in the second half, with Stewart, switched out to the left, catching the eye with his quick feet and direct running. He was twice foiled by Schmeichel, who also made a superb save from a stinging volley by Andy Dawson. "Cam can cause a lot of people problems in this division, he has got great ability," said Barmby of the ex-Manchester United trainee.
Pearson was gracious towards Hull – "They passed the ball exceptionally well" – who got their reward with time running out when Liam Rosenior played the ball towards the D and Koren swung his left foot to send the ball flying past Schmeichel and inside the far corner.
Hull (4-2-3-1): Gulacsi; Rosenior, Chester, Hobbs, Dawson; McKenna, Evans (Dudgeon, 87); Mclean, Stewart, Koren; Fryatt.
Leicester (4-4-2): Schmeichel; Peltier, Mills, Bamba, Konchesky; Danns (Gallagher, 63), Wellens, King, Dyer; Beckford (St Ledger, 30), Nugent (Fernandes, 68).
Referee Simon Hooper.
Man of the match Stewart (Hull).
Match rating 6/10.
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