Allan McGregor’s inexplicable howler presented Wolverhampton Wanderers with a draw and left Hull City to rue a chance of victory that slipped through their grasp yesterday, literally and figuratively.
McGregor stunned Molineux by spilling Nouha Dicko’s cross into the path of James Henry when a routine catch looked certain. Henry accepted the gift, heading home from a yard to cancel out a first-half penalty from Nikica Jelavic.
McGregor was left to face 32 minutes of merciless baiting from Wolves supporters for an error that was all the more embarrassing as it came on the first day of his deal with new glove suppliers, who had celebrated his signing on social media before the game.
The Hull manager, Steve Bruce, said: “You can’t legislate for human error. He probably hasn’t done that since he was 10. I can’t disguise the fact it was one of those howlers that cost us the match and there is nobody more disappointed than he is.
“Knowing Allan, he’ll never have a moment like that again. I didn’t think it was possible he would drop it, but he did.”
Within seconds of kick-off, the home side might have been ahead courtesy of a dreadful back pass from Sam Clucas, which was seized upon by striker Benik Afobe. His shot beat McGregor but Clucas’s blushes were spared by Curtis Davies, who made a goal-line clearance.
Wolves had made all the running yet found themselves behind in the 22nd minute courtesy of Jelavic’s emphatic penalty. The former Everton striker beat Emiliano Martinez from the spot after Kortney Hause was penalised for a clumsy shove on Davies at a corner.
Wolves twice threatened to equalise, first when Conor Coady drew a smart save from McGregor with a long-range shot and then when Dave Edwards was inches away from a tap-in after Dicko headed a Henry cross towards goal.
They began the second half in positive mood before McGregor’s error handed them a bizarre equaliser. Dicko’s cross from the left should have presented the Scot with a comfortable catch above his head, yet the ball slipped out of his hands and Henry could barely believe his good fortune.
Hull responded when Jelavic wriggled free on the left and crossed for Arsenal loanee Chuba Akpom, who stroked a shot against the post.
The Wolves manager, Kenny Jackett said: “I had turned away, looking at where McGregor was going to put the ball next, but for me it was about the performance level at home, the way we’re shaping up and what we can base things on for the season.
“Four points out of six at the start is pretty solid.”
Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-4-2): Martinez; Iorfa, Stearman, Hause, Golbourne; Henry (Ojo, 74), Coady, McDonald, Edwards; Afobe, Dicko (Le Fondre, 90). Substitutes not used Ikeme, Doherty, Van La Parra, Price, Ebanks-Landell.
Hull City (4-4-2): McGregor; Odubajo, Dawson, Davies, Robertson; Elmohamady (Aluko, 74), Hayden (Meyler, 56), Huddlestone, Clucas (Jahraldo-Martin, 84); Jelavic, Akpom. Substitutes not used Jakupovic, Taylor, Maguire, Luer.
Referee: A Marriner (West Midlands).Reuse content