Hull players clash after Carew strike

Aston Villa 1 Hull City 0

Aston Villa duly ended their winless 12-match run to reclaim fifth place in the Premier League last night, although the significance of this result will be most keenly felt down at the other end of the table. If Newcastle, Middlesbrough or, indeed, both are to survive then it could well be at the expense of Hull. Certainly there was so much of this showing that would have spread much-needed hope on Tyneside and Teeside.

Not only did Phil Brown's men extend their dramatic slide but their seemed capitulation depressingly manifested itself in infighting within the ranks as well. Daniel Cousin and Geovanni had to be separated to compound another miserable evening for Hull. Strangely, Brown said afterwards that he would not be speaking to either of his miscreants. He claimed not to have seen the incident he described as "a discussion" and even went as far to say "it shows how much they care".

In fairness, he does have other things on his mind. Hull have now won one of their last 19 games and their home match against Stoke on the weekend takes on critical status. At least the manner in which they finished the match suggested that they still have some fight left.

The cynics, however, might feel Hull's late resurgence was due more to their opponent's nerves. Martin O'Neill's side came in not having prevailed at Villa Park since January and their anxiety was all too apparent in the closing stages when they suddenly looked alarmingly vulnerable against an outfit they should have put to bed a long time before.

The night did not begin well for the visitors. In the 10th minute they lost their captain, Ian Ashbee, when he came off worst in a crunching, eye-watering challenge with James Milner. As Ashbee was still limping off, Villa so almost took an early lead. A wicked cross by Stiliyan Petrov located John Carew's forehead, but the towering Norwegian's glanced effort flashed inches wide of the far post.

There was another close escape in the 25th minute when Boaz Myhill tipped over Milner's crisply-hit free-kick, but nine minutes later the Villa pressure was rewarded. Petrov's tackle on George Boateng led to the move upfield which saw Ashley Young deliver a typically inch-perfect centre for Carew to flick in from the edge of the six-yard box. There was a suspicion of offside; indeed, before he peeled off to celebrate, Carew turned to check for a flag.

Yet the goal stood, Hull heads dropped and as the players ran towards the tunnel for the interval so the frustration boiled over. Cousin and Geovanni had been no sort of double-act up front, but at least they came over all Laurel and Hardy when squaring up to each other, apparently blaming one another for another fine mess. It seemed that the Brazilian had paid for the ugly scene – three members of the Hull staff had to intervene – when he was replaced at half-time for Nicky Barmby, yet Brown revealed the change had nothing to with the "discussion".

Whatever, it was a true pro who led their resistance. Myhill superbly turned away Gareth Barry's 30-yard scorcher at the start of the second half and the Welsh international was again impressive when repelling Milner's low stinger in the 65th minute. But both those saves were merely routine compared to the one he pulled off in the 78th minute. Carew flicked it across for Agonbalahor, who, three yards out, simply had to score. But Myhill somehow got a hand to the point-blank header. His heroics inspired team-mates to press forward and if Barmby could have got a touch to Cousin's half-volley and if Zayatte's touch a little while after had been more purposeful Hull would have salvaged a point. In truth, that would have been more than they deserved.

Aston Villa (4-4-2): Friedel; L Young, Davies, Knight, Shorey; Milner, Barry, Petrov (Reo-Coker, 90), A Young (Gardner, 90); Agbonlahor, Carew (Heskey, 86). Substitutes not used: Guzan (gk), Sidwell, Delfouneso, Clark.

Hull City (4-4-2): Myhill; Ricketts, Turner, Zayatte, Dawson; Garcia, Ashbee (Marney, 10), Boateng, Kilbane (Manucho, 72); Geovanni (Barmby, h-t), Cousin. Substitutes not used: Duke (gk), Doyle, Halmosi, Featherstone.

Referee: M Dean (Wirral).

Booked: Hull Zayatte, Boateng.

Man of the match: Myhill.

Attendance: 39,607.

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.

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
Twenty two years later Jurassic Park series faces questions over accuracy of the fictional dinosaurs in it

Tyrannosaurus wrecked?

Twenty two years on, Jurassic Park faces questions over accuracy
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
England can win the Ashes – and Elvis Presley will present the urn

England can win the Ashes – and Elvis will present the urn

In their last five Test, they have lost two and drawn two and defeated an India side last summer who thought that turning up was competing, says Stephen Brenkley
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)