Hull vs West Ham: Steve Bruce delighted two day turnaround from Croydon to Rome and back paid off with Abel Hernandez's debut showing

Hull manager flew to Italy with the striker's passport on Saturday and he decided to field Hernandez on Monday night despite just one training session

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Hull manager Steve Bruce credited a late dash from Croydon to Rome for making Abel Hernandez's barnstorming debut possible.

Bruce had expected to be without his club record signing for the home clash with West Ham due to a delay with his work permit.

But the relevant paperwork was completed just in time for the Tigers to complete a cross-continental jaunt to bring the £9.5million signing in over the weekend and he repaid Bruce's decision to throw him straight in by scoring a fine header in his side's 2-2 draw.

It might have been an even more memorable showing from the Uruguay international had a 25-yard drive five minutes later crept under the crossbar instead of ricocheting off it.


Asked what had persuaded him to pitch Hernandez directly into action after one training session, Bruce said: "It was just his attitude. He's been back (from international duty) and in Europe for three, four, five (days) waiting patiently for his passport.

"So we went to Croydon to the office for it, we flew to Rome with it and met him there in Rome.

"He only got here on Saturday afternoon, Sunday he was training and he was desperate to play. I'm so pleased we did it, even though he can hardly move now, but he'll be fine."

Hernandez put Hull ahead with a perfectly placed header as he beat James Tomkins in the air

Hernandez's header put Hull 1-0 up at half-time only for opposite number Enner Valencia to top it with a superb piledriver from 25 yards.

A second City debutant, Mohamed Diame, starting against the club he left on deadline day, then restored the lead with an opportunistic goal after pickpocketing an errant Hammers throw-in.

Hull 2 West Ham 2 match report

The visitors levelled again when Diafra Sakho's low shot escaped Allan McGregor and was turned home by defender Curtis Davies, teeing up a tense finale that peaked when Valencia's injury-time header was deflected off the crossbar.

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce highlighted Valencia's stunning effort as the key moment, the Ecuador striker marking his first league start with an effort that will surely keep him in the XI for the foreseeable future.

"Our first goal is one of best we'll see this season and we've seen some terrific goals already," said Allardyce. "The power and accuracy of the was past McGregor before he could move.

"It stunned the whole ground, the place went silent I think. It was that good a goal but it was very important to get back in the game.

"I thought we then took control for long periods and we had one or two chances to score but then we gifted them the second.

"I'm thinking 'come on lads, you can't allow us to play like this and not get anything' and we did bounce back very quickly."