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Football: City get reality check

Birmingham City 3 – 0 Hull City (Saturday March 17)

After a positive week came a disappointing weekend as the Tigers were beaten 3-0 by Birmingham City at St Andrew’s. Wins against Norwich City and Ipswich Town had seen Nigel Adkins’ side arrive in the Midlands looking for a third straight success but a poor display allowed the Blues to run out comfortable winners.

Adkins made two changes to his side following the midweek win at Ipswich. Abel Hernandez and Ondrej Mazuch both returned to the starting eleven, meaning that Fraizer Campbell and Michael Hector dropped to the bench.

A couple of heavy snow showers preceded the game, leaving the pitch with a light covering at kick-off and some tricky conditions underfoot.

Allan McGregor had to make the first save of the afternoon after his poor goal kick set up an early chance for Birmingham. Che Adams found himself through on goal, but McGregor made amends as he came off his line to block a low shot.

There was also an early yellow card, Birmingham’s Wes Harding cautioned for a horribly late challenge on Harry Wilson on halfway.

Birmingham had made the better start, though, and went in front with 11 minutes played. Adams nipped in ahead of Michael Dawson and advanced into the box before squaring for Jota to side-foot home from close range for 1-0.

The Blues had a chance to add a second moments later but Maikel Kieftenbeld fired over from inside the area.

Wilson had the Tigers’ first real opportunity of the game when Seb Larsson picked him out inside the box on 26 minutes but a fierce low drive flashed across the face of goal.

McGregor made a fine save to deny Lukas Jutkiewicz as play moved back to the other end of the field, and the goalkeeper had to be at his best again when keeping out Adams’ bicycle kick.

Adams was denied by McGregor again on 35 minutes as the keeper spread himself well after a cross had made its way through to the Blues striker at the far post.

Kieftenbeld saw an effort deflect wide and Jota headed a good chance over the bar late in the half as it remained 1-0 going into the break.

Birmingham needed just two minutes of the second half to double their lead. Adams got away down the Blues’ left and after holding play up, his attempted cross caught McGregor out and dropped inside the far post.

Jota went close to making it three only to find the outstretched hand of McGregor before the Tigers’ first change saw Campbell replace Irvine.

Jota did make it three just before the hour. Finding himself all alone inside the Tigers’ box, he slid the ball underneath the advancing McGregor to put the game to bed.

David Stockdale was finally forced to make a save shortly after as he comfortably held a Seb Larsson free kick before Jon Toral replaced Hernandez with less than 20 minutes remaining. A final change saw Kamil Grosicki come on for Wilson.

Bowen and Toral fired late efforts wide as a consolation goal eluded the visitors on a disappointing afternoon.

 

Hull City: Allan McGregor, Ola Aina, Michael Dawson, Ondrej Mazuch, Max Clark, Sebastian Larsson, Markus Henriksen, Jarrod Bowen, Jackson Irvine (Fraizer Campbell 57), Harry Wilson (Kamil Grosicki 76), Abel Hernandez (Jon Toral 73).

Subs Not Used: David Marshall, Michael Hector, David Meyler, Fikayo Tomori.

(Report courtesy of www.hullcitytigers.com)