Tigers end poor run with home win against Cardiff
Hull ended a run of six consecutive home defeats with a 2-1 victory over Cardiff in the Sky Bet Championship.
Early first-half goals for Allahyar Sayyadmanesh and Lewie Coyle set the hosts on their way towards three welcome points against weak opponents.
Captain Aden Flint scored with an 81st-minute header to reduce the deficit but the visitors lacked direction for most of the match and deserved to leave East Yorkshire empty-handed.
Cardiff have little to play for, yet manager Steve Morison will be most concerned by his side’s lethargic approach to what was a textbook end-of-season encounter.
Hull are also planning for another season in the Championship following a dynamic start that essentially put the game to bed within 11 minutes.
The Tigers’ cause was admittedly aided by horrendous Cardiff defending, with right-back Mark McGuinness at fault for the home team’s first goal after just eight minutes.
McGuinness, wary of the niggling threat to gain possession from Keane Lewis-Potter in an innocuous position, should have cleared the danger for a throw-in.
He instead held off Lewis-Potter and sent a risky backpass towards goalkeeper Dillon Phillips.
Phillips had no chance to react as quick-minded Sayyadmanesh sensed the danger before tapping home for a first goal for Hull following his loan move from Fenerbahce.
Cardiff could not regroup with any semblance of authority and conceded a second goal just three minutes later.
Cody Drameh made a mess of a routine clearance that struck another Cardiff player before falling to Regan Slater, who neatly passed to Coyle on the edge of the penalty area.
Coyle was, nonetheless, still given too much space before angling the ball into the bottom-left of the net with an astute right-footed sweep.
Morison’s men at least rallied as the game meandered towards half-time, but they could have conceded a third shortly after the restart.
Slater found Lewis-Potter in a pocket of space inside the penalty box, but the much-coveted forward was denied by a smart stop from Phillips – with the rebound off Drameh spiralling over the crossbar for a corner.
Morison will argue that Cardiff were the better side in the second half from there on in.
They also looked far more assured in possession once Tommy Doyle and Rubin Colwill replaced McGuinness and Uche Ikpeazu at the break.
But they did not give Matt Ingram a moment of concern inside the final third until Mark Harris was comfortably denied by the Hull goalkeeper with a simple stop after 67 minutes.
Doyle later shot wide after neat interplay with Harris before Flint powered home from close range from a corner from the right with nine minutes remaining.
With the Tigers perfectly happy to sit back and Cardiff lacking the energy and belief to get back into the game until late on, the second half felt like a typical Championship dead-rubber at this stage of the season.
Hull head coach Shota Arveladze will still be far happier with his players – many of whom are soon be out of contract – than Morison, whose side seemingly have one eye on their summer holidays on this evidence.
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