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.

election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'