Hull in freefall as Allardyce savours first away win

Hull City 1 Blackburn Rovers 2
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The Independent Football

Master outwitted apprentice as Sam Allardyce pulled off his first away win as Blackburn manager, giving Rovers renewed optimism in their bid to wriggle clear of the relegation battle but leaving his former assistant, Phil Brown, wondering what he has to do to arrest Hull's decline.

Two goals in the space of less than two minutes effectively won the contest before half-time. Brown's side, beaten eight times in their last 10 matches, then had a man sent off and barely created a real chance until Ian Ashbee's goal 12 minutes from the end.

"You are punished for mistakes at this level and the two we made in the first half have cost us the game," Brown said. Hull's debut Premiership season has slipped dangerously into reverse. Third in the table after winning six of their first nine matches, his side have won only one in 18 since and sit only three points above the bottom three.

Brown will now lose Dean Marney for three matches after a retaliatory kick at Morton Gamst Pedersen left referee Martin Atkinson with no option but to show the red card.

And Brown appears to be on a collision course with striker Geovanni after substituting the Brazilian seven minutes into the second half. Geovanni applauded as the home crowd booed the decision. "He will never do that to me again," Brown said.

Geovanni had missed Hull's only clear chance before Blackburn took the upper hand. A blunder by Hull goalkeeper Matt Duke allowed Stephen Warnock to grab the lead after 34 minutes. Duke let the ball to squirm away from him at the feet of Roque Santa Cruz and Warnock swept it home after the Paraguayan laid it into his path. Barely 90 seconds later, Warnock cut back a pass for Keith Andrews to slide home.

Marney's red-mist moment came after Pedersen landed on him in a clumsy aerial challenge and while the Norwegian, booked at that moment, was later sent off for a second yellow card, the disadvantage hurt Hull.

England goalkeeper Paul Robinson, substituted at half-time following a collision with Hull's Michael Turner, was sent to hospital for a precautionary x-ray on a shoulder injury.

Goals: Warnock (34) 0-1; Andrews (36) 0-2; Ashbee (78) 1-2.

Hull City (4-4-2): Duke; Doyle (Fagan 66), Turner, Zayatte, Dawson; Mendy, Ashbee, Marney, Kilbane (Cousin 52); Geovanni (Barmby 52), Garcia. Substitutes not used: Myhill (gk), Halmosi, Manucho, Gardner.

Blackburn Rovers (4-3-2-1): Robinson (Brown h-t); Ooijer, Samba, Nelsen, Givet; Grella, Andrews, Warnock; Diouf (Mokoena 82), Pedersen; Santa Cruz (Roberts 86). Substitutes not used: Kerimoglu, McCarthy, Villanueva, Treacy.

Referee: M Atkinson (West Yorkshire).

Booked: Hull Turner, Dawson; Blackburn Warnock, Pedersen, Diouf.

Sent off: Hull Marney (62); Blackburn Pedersen (70).

Man of the match: Warnock.

Attendance: 24,612.