Brilliant Bostock gives Hull reason for optimism

Hull City 2 Swansea City 0
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The Independent Football

Good news has been thin on the ground at Hull City this year but the troubled club was given something to cheer about at the first attempt back down in the Championship.

Nigel Pearson could not have wished for a better start on the field to his tenure as manager. Debts have caused the sale of many of the leading lights since relegation from the Premier League but Pearson was able to call on John Bostock, who has arrived on a 12-month loan from Tottenham Hotspur, and Ian Ashbee, who returned after 16 months out with a career-threatening knee injury.

They scored the goals, one in each half, that enabled Hull to secure a comfortable victory that went some way towards banishing the memories of last season's relegation. Financial problems remain and players may still have to be sold before the transfer window closes and so far no buyer has been found for record signing Jimmy Bullard. He was left out to avoid any risk of him getting injured.

How welcome then were Bostock and the combative midfielder Ashbee, who both stood out throughout this contest.

Swansea, meanwhile, lost Angel Rangel prior to kick-off. Club officials said he had been injured in the warm-up but the defender is being heavily linked with a move to Blackpool and this might have had some bearing on his withdrawal.

Swansea started the brighter, passing the ball with zip and fluency and threatening to carve open the home defence at will. Mark Gower failed to control a sublime pass from Ashley Williams inside the eighth minute when he had the goal at his mercy while David Cotterill was caught marginally offside as he sliced through on goal. Cotterill also rattled the crossbar with a curling free-kick yet it was Hull that took the lead in the 23rd minute. And in some style. Bostock interchanged passes with Nolberto Solano before swivelling and unleashing an unstoppable drive from 30 yards into the top corner.

Hull should have doubled their advantage five minutes later but Anthony Gardner headed over from close range after being allowed to meet Richard Garcia's corner unchallenged.

Bostock's tremendous effort appeared to knock the wind from Swansea's sails and when Ashbee made it 2-0 to Hull from close range in the 50th minute there was no way back.

"I'm pleased because every first game is a bit tricky," Pearson said. "It's fair to say in pre-season we have looked stop-start but it's about finding out about the players. I'm pleased the players showed discipline.

"It was a tough game because we are struggling for numbers up front, but we made it work. There is more to come. We have players who have experienced a tough year and their confidence needs to be built back up.

"John [Bostock] did very well. He was the difference in many ways. He can produce that moment of brilliance and he worked exceptionally hard."

His opposite number Brendan Rodgers said: "I thought we were in control of the game up until Hull's goal. There were a lot of pleasing things but we are obviously disappointed overall. No one probably expected us to win, so we will just have to put it behind us and move on."