Hull City 2-2 Sunderland
Hull City twice came from behind as they drew 2-2 with Sunderland at the KCOM Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Josh Magennis was the man on target for the Tigers, heading a first half equaliser to cancel out a Jordan Jones opener before heading home again after the break with his side again trailing, this time after a controversial penalty was awarded eleven minutes before the interval. The result moves Grant McCann’s side four points clear at the top following Peterborough United’s defeat at home to Gillingham, whilst the eleven-point gap between the Tigers and third-placed Sunderland remains.
George Honeyman returned to the starting eleven in the only change from the weekend’s win against Fleetwood Town. Daniel Crowley was the man to drop to the bench, where he was joined by Reece Burke who was involved for the first time in a month after recovering from injury.
Mallik Wilks tested Sunderland goalkeeper Lee Burge with a second-minute shot from 20 yards out, before Sunderland went close when a Jordan Jones header came back off the woodwork.
Sunderland took the lead in the tenth minute. A deep cross from the right was met by Jones with a side-foot volley and his effort found the bottom corner of the net.
Bailey Wright was booked for a foul on Honeyman as he led the charge for an equaliser and it almost arrived from the resulting free kick but Burge managed to turn Keane Lewis-Potter’s effort behind.
Wilks missed a golden chance to level when a Callum Elder corner was flicked on to the far post, the home side’s leading scorer diverting the ball wide when unmarked, before Jacob Greaves was left needing lengthy treatment after being taken out in mid-air.
The Tigers drew level in the 28th minute. Wilks was patient on the right as he bided his time before delivering a lovely cross for Magennis to glance into the net.
However, Sunderland were soon back in front when they were awarded a controversial penalty in the 34th minute. The ball appeared to strike the arm of a Sunderland player as he competed with Elder for a ball inside the box, but the referee saw it the other way round and Grant Leadbitter stepped up to send the spot kick into the corner of Matt Ingram’s net.
Burge made a comfortable save from another low Wilks effort and, although the injury to Greaves contributed to nine minutes of time being added on, there would be no further goals before the break.
Wilks was again denied by Burge as a much firmer striker ended up in the hands of the goalkeeper just after half time, while Lewis-Potter picked up a booking for throwing Josh Scowen to the ground.
Wilks was also booked after disputing a decision from the assistant referee before Magennis saw a close-range effort blocked after a Honeyman corner had caused problems.
The Tigers grabbed a deserved equaliser in the 64th minute. The combination was the same as the first, Wilks crossing from the right and Magennis this time getting above his marker to plant a header into the net.
Lynden Gooch fired wide for the visitors as they threatened midway through the half, while at the other end a promising run from Lewis-Potter ended with a scuffed shot into Burge’s hands.
A triple change from the home side saw Gavin Whyte, Crowley and Richie Smallwood replace Lewis-Potter, Honeyman and Regan Slater for the final ten minutes, with Wilks seeing a header from Elder’s free kick kept out in the final minute.
Four minutes of time were added during which Ingram made a key save at his near post and Bailey Wright hit the woodwork as the game finished 2-2.
Hull City: Matt Ingram; Lewie Coyle (C), Alfie Jones, Jacob Greaves, Callum Elder; Regan Slater (Richie Smallwood 80), Greg Docherty; Mallik Wilks, George Honeyman (Daniel Crowley 80), Keane Lewis-Potter (Gavin Whyte 80); Josh Magennis.
Subs Not Used: George Long, Reece Burke, Tom Eaves, Josh Emmanuel.
Sunderland: Lee Burge, Bailey Wright, Max Power, Charlie Wyke, Lynden Gooch, Luke O’Nien, Josh Scowen, Grant Leadbitter (Aiden O’Brien 72), Callum McFadzean (Denver Hume 76), Carl Winchester (Jack Diamond 72), Jordan Jones (Chris Maguire 80).
Subs Not Used: Anthony Patterson, Ross Stewart, Ollie Younger.
Referee: Mr C. Breakspear.