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Match Report: Hull City 0 - 2 Southampton (Hull Fan's Perspective)

Thursday 22nd March 2012
League leaders Southampton continued their charge on the Premier League with a well-earned 2-0 victory over play-off challengers Hull City.

Following an impressive display at Crystal Palace, Hull's on-loan Josh King retained his place on the wing ahead of fans' favourite Cameron Stewart. The visitors boasted top-class players such as Kelvin Davis, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert – leaving poacher Billy Sharp on the bench.

The hosts started the brighter and played some attractive football in the Southampton half. Whilst the build-up was slick, the final ball lacked quality and it was the Saints who drew first blood. Southampton were second best in possession but when they did have the ball, they used it to lethal effect.

Had it not been for the heroics of Vito Mannone, Southampton could have been two up by the time they broke the deadlock. Mannone, as he has done so often since returning to Hull on loan from Arsenal, made two top drawer saves to deny Lambert and Lallana before Jack Hobbs inadvertently put the ball into his own net.

The Tigers continued to knock the ball around well early in the first half. They saw the lively Josh King smack the woodwork before Robbie Brady blazed a sitter into the stands. But the league leaders were lethal on the break and could have easily doubled their lead before the interval.

Half-time saw Robert Koren withdrawn with a hamstring problem and replaced by Aaron McLean. City went to a 4-4-2, sacrificing the man in the hole who linked midfield and attack. They consequently struggled to find a way through a resolute Saints defence.

Within the first 15 minutes of the second half, Southampton broke Hull's morale when Jos Hooiveld converted from close range. Hull still knocked the ball around well but failed to find the killer pass to unlock a strong Saints side, which looked so dangerous on the counter.

The home side enjoyed late pressure but a set of fine saves from Southampton stopper Kelvin Davis saw Hull City fail to find the back of the net for the seventh time in 11 games.

Hull were generally poor and gave little fight in the second half. But nothing can be taken away from Southampton who were well worthy of all 3 points – it's plain to see why they are on course to win the Championship title.

The result takes the Saints one step close to securing automatic promotion whilst opponents Hull take another knock-back in the promotion race, now sitting 9th in the table. Both teams went for this one and it was often an entertaining end-to-ender.

Attendance: 18,066

Man of the match – Josh King. King was the best player on the park. Quick, skilful and often electric, he was City's biggest threat by a country mile and didn't deserve to be on the losing side.
Andy Woolston

Total articles: 4

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