Hull 2 West Brom 0 match report: Shane Long leaves his mark as Mel falls short again
Long left West Brom in January but he won a first-half penalty before scoring the second himself to mastermind Hull's win and put more pressure on Pepe Mel
Saturday 22 March 2014
Hull City moved a step closer to manager Steve Bruce’s target of an FA Cup final place and Premier League safety with their first home maximum points haul of 2014, creating an eight-point cushion between themselves and the relegation places.
This comfortable victory over beleaguered West Bromwich Albion takes Hull to within one win of Bruce’s target of 10 over the season, with matches against West Ham and Stoke away, followed by Swansea at home, offering clear possibilities ahead of the Wembley semi-final against Sheffield United.
West Brom had reason to feel hard done by after referee Chris Foy awarded Hull a penalty for a debatable foul by Craig Dawson on Shane Long in the 31st minute.
Nikica Jelavic failed to convert the spot kick, but defender Liam Rosenior headed the ball into the net after Ben Foster’s save. Then Long, facing his former club for the first time since his January transfer, scored a second for the home side within seven minutes.
Albion, with just one win in nine matches under Spanish head coach Pepe Mel, look increasingly vulnerable, two places and three points above the bottom three.
Mel blamed Foy rather than Long for the penalty, even though the Irishman appeared to go down under minimal contact. “Shane Long is a professional, he does his best for his team,” Mel said. “But it is a bad decision by the referee. We had the same situation in the other box when Morrison was fouled but he did not whistle.”
Bruce conceded it might have been “a soft penalty”, but added that Foy “was only 10 yards away so he may have seen or heard something that made him give it.”
Albion began brightly, with Stéphane Sessègnon skimming the bar from 25 yards and Graham Dorrans bringing a good save from Allan McGregor, but Hull had a chance to go ahead when David Meyler headed wide.
Long doubled Hull’s advantage when Jake Livermore whipped the ball back into the penalty area after a corner was only half cleared. Curtis Davies won a knock-down and Long pounced to steer the ball past Foster for his third goal since his £7 million move from the Hawthorns.
Hull (4-3-1-2): McGregor; Elmohamady, Chester, Davies, Rosenior; Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore; Aluko (Koren, 61); Long (Quinn, 77), Jelavic (Sagbo, 83).
West Bromwich (4-3-1-2): Foster; Reid, McAuley (Sinclair, 79), Dawson, Ridgewell; Morrison, Mulumbu, Dorrans; Sessegnon; Thievy (Vydra, 61), Anichebe (Berahino, 75).
Referee: Chris Foy.
Man of the match: Davies (Hull)
Match rating: 6/10
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