Stoke City 1 Hull City 0 match report: ‘Horrible’ Ahmed Elmohamady error gifts Stoke victory
Striker netted his fourth goal in three games as the January signing comes good for Stoke
Saturday 29 March 2014
Stoke City under Tony Pulis were the ultimate mid-table side, finishing 12th, 11th, 13th, 14th and 13th again in their five Premier League seasons with the current Crystal Palace manager at the helm.
They are unlikely to finish substantially higher this time but were they to make club history and end the season in 10th place or above it would be further vindication for the difficult moment chairman Peter Coates forced himself to confront when he decided to replace Pulis with Mark Hughes last summer.
After one defeat in nine they remain on course and while they fell short in terms of performance yesterday, failing to achieve anywhere near the same fluency that brought them a 4-1 win at Aston Villa last weekend, they maintained their momentum after Hull defender Ahmed Elmohamady’s mistake handed them something of a gift goal.
Peter Odemwingie – Stoke’s £2.25 million signing from Cardiff City in the January transfer window – intercepted a careless crossfield pass from Elmohamady to score his third goal in as many games after 62 minutes of an otherwise forgettable match.
“We did not play as well as we can but at this stage of the season it is about getting the job done,” Hughes said.
Until then, Hull had looked the likelier side to prevail as they seek the extra win they probably still need to feel safe from the threat of relegation. They had the better chances in the opening half, Tom Huddlestone stretching Asmir Begovic with a shot aimed towards the bottom left-hand corner before a cross from Shane Long found the head of an unmarked Liam Rosenior but sailed over the bar. Only a superb save by Begovic from a deflected David Meyler effort kept the scores level early in the second period.
Then came the error by Elmohamady that gave Odemwingie the opening that would settle the match. Trying to find Liam Rosenior on the opposite flank, he was yards short of his target and the Nigerian was quick to intercept, running at James Chester before slamming the ball past Steve Harper with a powerful finish into the bottom left-hand corner.
“Elmo has made a horrible mistake and it has cost us the game,” Hull manager Steve Bruce lamented. “Odemwingie still has a bit to do and it is a good finish but we have gifted him the opportunity in a game where they never looked like breaking us down.”
Stoke City (4-1-4-1): Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; Whelan (Palacios, 82); Odemwingie, Ireland, N’zonzi, Arnautovic (Adam, 85); Crouch (Guidetti, 87).
Hull City (3-5-2): Harper; Chester, Bruce (Aluko, 71), Davies; Elmohamady, Livermore, Huddlestone (Quinn, 82), Meyler, Rosenior; Long, Jelavic (Sagbo, 79).
Referee: Neil Swarbrick.
Man of the match: Odemwingie (Hull City)
Match rating: 4/10
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