Hull City 1 Middlesbrough 0 match report: Hull find some mettle thanks to Jason Steele

the KC STADIUM

This weekend just happens to mark the 20th anniversary of the pivotal Old Trafford occasion when Steve Bruce rose to head home two late goals for a comeback win against Sheffield Wednesday which put Manchester United back on course for their first League title in 26 years.

Two decades on, Sir Alex Ferguson's old faithful of a central defender had reason to be grateful for a different helping hand that steadied his Hull City side on the road to automatic promotion to the top flight.

Last Tuesday, Bruce's charges relinquished three of the four points they had in hand on Watford in second spot in the Championship table, getting stung 1-0 at home by Gianfranco Zola's Hornets.

Yesterday, his pussyfooting Tigers were in danger of suffering another setback, toothless in attack and second best to Tony Mowbray's Middlesbrough side, until the 63rd minute turning point of Robbie Brady's curling free-kick from deep on the right.

Jason Steele, in the visitors' goal, got down to meet it but only succeeded in pushing the ball up into the roof of his net. The relief was palpable but Hull and their manager had to endure a few nervy moments before the precious points were safe. "It wasn't pretty but we hung on," Bruce reflected. "I've heard some nonsense in the dressing room that Robbie watched Ronaldo or Bale take a free-kick like that and make it bounce before the keeper. It looked to me like it hit a divot and the keeper made a mess of it."

And so Middlesbrough's freefalll continues. This was a 12th loss in 16 League games since the turn of the year for Mowbray's charges.

However, Boro settled quicker than their somewhat nervous hosts, Grant Leadbitter dictating operations in central midfield and the roving Sammy Ameobi cutting in from the right to test David Stockdale in the home goal with a low drive from 20 yards.

It took the Tigers until midway through the first half to start digging their claws in, Robert Koren unleashing a thumping shot from distance that Steele did well to push wide and George Boyd firing a shot into the side-netting.

Still, Boro were back on top, with the home crowd getting more than a little restless, when Brady despatched his fateful free-kick and Steele fumbled.

The visitors finished with a threatening flourish too, Scott McDonald's back-heeled effort drawing a fine save from Stockdale, and André Bikey forcing a goal-line clearance from Corry Evans.

Not that Mowbray was remotely consoled. "We need to score goals," the Middlesbrough manager lamented.

Hull City (3-5-2): Stockdale; Bruce (Rosenior, 45), Faye, Chester; Elmohamady, Koren, Evans, Quinn, Brady; Gedo (Simpson, 54), Boyd (Fathi, 79).

Middlesbrough (4-3-2-1): Steele; Hoyte, Williams, Woodgate (Bikey, h-t), Halliday; McEachran, Leadbitter, Carayol (Zemmama, 68); Ameobi (McDonald, 68), Haroun; Miller.

Referee: Simon Hooper.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her