The Bluebirds suffered a 2-0 defeat against Hull City, with goals from Abel Hernández and Sam Clucas securing a Tigers win at the KC Stadium.
A QUIET OPENING
With supporters cheering the boys on from the KC and from the Beam Back event back at CCS, City enjoyed some good early possession, with the hosts also keen to get on the ball.
The first real chance of the evening fell to the Tigers. Mohamed Diamé won the ball in the Cardiff half and advanced forward into the area, before playing in Abel Hernández. Bruno Manga recovered well to throw himself in front of the ball, making a vital block from the Uruguayan’s shot. The powerful Diamé fired an effort over the bar soon afterwards, as the hosts searched for an opener.
THE CRUCIAL DECISION
After a fairly subdued start, the Bluebirds had a golden chance to take the lead, with Anthony Pilkington involved. Craig Noone’s cleverly sliced through ball found Pilkington on the left-hand side of the area. The winger’s lobbed effort just dropped over the crossbar, as the match began to open up. At the other end, the outstretched boot of Scott Malone denied Hull, after a pacey counter-attack.
As the half drew to a close, the hosts made the vital breakthrough. Lee Peltier and Harry Maguire tangled in the box as a corner-kick was swung into the area. Both players went to ground, with the referee awarding a penalty to Hull. Abel Hernández stepped up to tuck the spot-kick past David Marshall, giving the Tigers the lead. Minutes later, Tony Watt delved into the box after a mazy run, hoping to inspire an instant comeback. However, the last five minutes of the half fizzled out, with Cardiff going into the break one goal down.
THE TIGERS MAKE IT TWO
Harry Maguire had a chance to double Hull’s leader early in the second period, but his effort was well saved by ‘City skipper Marshall. However, it was only a matter of minutes before the second Tigers’ goal arrived. Some good work by the clever Hernández saw the hosts emerge into the ‘City box. The ball fell to Sam Clucas, who fired into the bottom corner at the second attempt. Hernández was through again moments later, but a perfectly timed tackle from Lee Peltier prevented a third Hull goal. Only minutes later, there was an almost identical repeat – with the right-back sliding in to stop Hernández, who was in on goal once more.
The home side began to put their stamp on the match, with some excellent passing seeing an increase in possession. Their efforts nearly resulted in that elusive third goal – but the legs of Marshall kept out Clucas’ fierce effort. Marshall was called into action numerous times in the latter stages, with Clucas determined to net his second goal.
A late change in formation couldn't salvage anything from the match, as Hull became the first team to do the double over Cardiff, after the corresponding fixture finished 2-0 to the Tigers back in September.
FULL TIME: Hull City 2 – 0 Cardiff City (Hernández PEN 40, Clucas 51)
Hull City: McGregor, Odubajo, Maguire, Davies, Robertson, Elmohamady, Livermore (Hayden 75’), Meyler, Clucas, Diamé (Aluko 82’), Hernández (Huddlestone 68’).
Subs not used: Jakupovic, Taylor, Snodgrass, Akpom.
Cardiff City: Marshall, Peltier, Malone, Manga, Connolly, Ralls, Gunnarsson, Pilkington, Noone, Watt (Macheda 82’), Mason (Ameobi 61’).
Subs not used: Moore, Fábio, Whittingham, O’Keefe, Revell.