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Season 2008-09
Hull City (a) Premier League
  Date: Saturday 14th March 2009, 3.00pm

 KC Stadium


Admission: 24.50 - same as FA Cup 
at the same venue in January 2009.


Hull City

Newcastle United

1 - 1



9 mins With Steven Taylor pointing rather than marking, Craig Fagan made progress down the left wing and centred for Geovanni, who eluded his alleged marker Sebastien Bassong to head past Harper in front of the Newcastle fans. 0-1

38 mins Nicky Butt-inspired pressure down the right saw Steven Taylor lay off the ball and push forward for a return pass that never came. Remaining with the attack though, the defender was on hand to connect with Butt's cross and send it over the advancing goalkeeper from six yards out. 1-1

Half time: Tigers 1 Toon 1

Full time: Tigers 1 Toon 1

We Said

Chris Hughton commented:

"I think when you look at your big players anywhere there are always expectations. I think Michael (Owen) accepts that - he is a big player. It comes with the territory.

"This is the moment you look at your big players and your big players around the changing room. This is when you want players available, and one problem we have had is that we haven't had enough players available for enough of the season - I'm talking about regular first-team players.

"I think there is always going to be a certain amount of fear involved at this stage of the season. But you have got to be confident you have got good enough characters and enough quality to come through that, and I'm very confident that we have.

"In that first half-hour, if I looked at our two front men we probably didn't give them the service they needed.

"We were aware first half we needed to get the ball down and give them a different type of service - and we probably weren't able to do that.

"I think the goal so early in the game rocked us and never allowed us to get into any type of stride. Once we did get into our stride, in the latter part of the first half, we missed the opportunities to get a real stranglehold of the game."

"The teams around us have got tough games as well. We have to make sure we win a better percentage of our games than the others do."

They said

Phil Brown

"I wouldn't be surprised if Newcastle were relegated I wouldn't be surprised if any team went.

"People say one's gone already, but that's a load of rubbish. I think this battle will go to the wire for nine or 10 teams. For me, we'll need over 40 points for sure. The team in 20th position can still survive and everyone is under pressure.

"With the amount of money Newcastle have spent compared to us, I'm satisfied to have won two and drawn two against them. If you're asking whether I'm happier than Newcastle at the moment, then of course I am."

"It was a scrappy affair but there was lots of nervous tension. A bit of composure will be needed in the nine games left and if we do that we'll be OK. It's going to go to the wire but because we play at Wigan next Sunday we'll know what we have to do."


Toon @ Tigers - competitive games:

drew 1-1 S.Taylor
drew 0-0 (FA Cup)
lost 2-1 (Div 2) McGhee
won 1-0 (FA Cup) O'Brien
won 3-1 (Div 2) McGhee, Anderson, Brazil
won 3-2 (Div 2) Pearson, Smith, Imrie
won 5-1 (FA Cup) Bott 2, Cairns, Pearson, og
drew 1-1 (Div 2) Pearson
lost 0-1 (FA Cup)
drew 0-0 (FA Cup)

Total record against Hull City:
  P W D L F A
SJP 5 3 0 2 14 7
BP/KC 5 2 2 1 9 7
League 10 5 2 3 23 14
SJP(FA) 4 2 1 1 7 4
BP/KC 5 2 2 1 6 2
SJP(LC) 1 1 0 0 2 0
Cup 10 5 3 2 15 6
Tot 20 10 5 5 38 20

Steven Taylor netted his third goal of the season - all of which have come away from home and in the closing stages of the first half (Everton 45 mins, West Brom 41 mins, Hull 38 mins).

We took a point from our first-ever league visit to the KC Stadium, which became the 47th venue at which we've played in the Premier League.

Only nine of the eighteen players selected for the corresponding SJP fixture were present for this one - Harper and Bassong being promoted from the bench to start, alongside Taylor, Coloccini, Geremi, Butt, Owen and Ameobi. Edgar dropped down to the bench, while absent were Given, N'Zogbia, Xisco, Gonzalez, Guthrie and subs Cacapa, Donaldson, Doninger and Danquah.

Shola Ameobi's appearance from the bench was the 101st time he's been used as a sub for United in all competitions. He's scored goals in three of those outings as follows:

28.09.02 Birmingham City (a) scored 1
12.04.03 Manchester United (h) scored 1
03.03.04 Valerenga (h) scored 2

In Premier League games only that's 2 goals in 79 sub appearances.



Back to the KC again - but it was anything but a sunshine band of travelling fans who made their way to the exits after their side failed to gather three points from another "must-win" match.

Anyone with a basic knowledge of our recent history will have feared the worst when this fixture was described beforehand as a "cup final" and so it proved to pass, with a side featuring fit-again Michael Owen but shorn of anything resembling pace in the middle of the park unconvincingly claimed a point.

Chris Hughton's first spell in temporary charge of the side began back in September amid an atmosphere off-field that clearly affected those players in his charge. That day saw the Tigers exploit the black mood of the Newcastle fans to deepen the gloom before half time - but this time round they struck early to quell what had been an optimistic mood among the away contingent.

The rescue helicopter that buzzed the stadium shortly afterwards seemed symptomatic of the fact that we were all at sea - and in midfield especially, threatening to capsize. Help was at hand on this occasion though from terra firma rather than the skies.

The return of Michael Owen was billed as a turning point in our fortunes, but it was Steven Taylor who popped up with our only shot on target and ultimately secured a point. That may turn out to be priceless, but in the immediate aftermath of this game, the collective mood was downbeat, saved from despondency only by results elsewhere going our way.

Owen was named in the starting lineup along with recent injury victim Nicky Butt, Peter Lovenkrands and Ryan Taylor dropping to the bench. However, birthday boy Steve Harper soon was retrieving the ball out of his net, as the speedy counter -attacks of Hull were causing our defence problems, Fabricio Coloccini in particular struggling. 

The Argentinean picked up a yellow card for a spot of holding and angered away fans, after a pathetic attempt at feigning an elbowing by an opponent left him lying on the field as City bore down on goal. With Alan Smith and Geremi ineffective and Gutierrez unable to get into the game, the midfield was held together by Butt and he was instrumental in the equaliser that our display scarcely warranted. 

Despite this, United remained unchanged for the second half and that situation remained the same as the game dragged on, with barely a hint that we had the wit or talent to find a second goal - something that mirrored the tepid Tigers attack. 

United slightly shaded the second 45 as they attacked their own fans, but two skied efforts from Gutierrez and one near-miss from Martins were as near as they got. Annoyingly, both efforts from the former were applauded, despite amply demonstrating the awful technique of an alleged international - had Ameobi been guilty of either miss, then the howls of derision would have been deafening. 

Owen's return from injury followed the pattern of his previous comebacks, as he had a low-key afternoon before giving way to Ameobi. And while Shola did provide a semblance of a physical presence up front, the addition of Ryan Taylor to the midfield was as instrumental in a mini-late rally by United. 

Only Hughton will know why the pace of Lovenkrands (2 goals in four games) and aggression of Carroll remained unused. And with no free kicks in dangerous areas and only a trio of ineffective corners, our set piece preparations were never a factor - although continued collective ineptness when given sight of goal remains a concern. 

If we are to slip out of this division, then our inability to turn draws into wins will be a major factor - this was our 11th stalemate so far, from 29 games played. Quite how Hughton proposes to steer a path through Arsenal's defence remains to be seen, but on this evidence our best hope may be a forward raid by Taylor - the last Magpie to net against the Gunners.

Successive home games against the Gunners and Chelsea seem destined to lead to our dropping into the bottom three, despite optimistic noises from the management about giving it a go against those two "big teams". That begs the question why we failed to so against this lot.......

The only thing that can realistically save us now (as opposed to seeing us remain in situ thanks to the failings of others) is for the recently-returned players with experience to quickly regain fitness and form.

Countered with that though is an increasing suspicion that the man/men in charge lack the guts to make tough decisions about the starting XI and changes required if things aren't going according to plan. Leaving Gutierrez on for ninety minutes in this game simply defied logic - as did his ability to wear his shorts backwards. We also assume his boots were on the wrong feet....

Trying to make a team out of this bunch may be a near-impossible task, but ignoring what seems blatantly obvious to outsiders just alienates supporters - as they see players perpetually failing but remaining in favour. One always hope that coaches know better than punters, but our continued wishy-washy output raises serious questions about that really being the case. 

Despite gaining a point and a place in the league, we shuffled nearer to the abyss - and we're still apparently looking the other way, heading for a fall. Having failed to beat Hull in four attempts this season though, the question has to be asked whether he deserve to retain our top-flight status.



Page last updated 08 February, 2017