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Match Reports

Hull City 3 Brentford 2

Bees concede three second half goals to lose

9 December 2017

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Brentford let a lead slip and conceded three times in 21 second half minutes as they were beaten by Hull City. An own goal from David Meyler had put The Bees in front early in the second half and with Brentford having the better of the first, it looked as if that would be a springboard for the visitors. But Hull struck back, dominating the next half hour and scoring three times. A late goal from John Egan gave Brentford hope but Hull held on.

The defeat was only the second for Brentford in their last 14 Sky Bet Championship fixtures but will be one that disappoints them. The Bees appeared to be in complete control when they held the lead five minutes in to the second half but their levels dropped and Hull took advantage. A fine strike from Kamil Grosicki levelled it up before Seb Larsson curled in a free kick. Jackson Irvine added a third and that proved to be the winner.

The home side have been one of the division’s most attacking teams so far this term. Only two teams scored more than Hull in the first 20 games of the season and there had been more goals at the KCOM Stadium than any other ground in the division. But the midweek change of manager for the hosts – Nigel Admins taking charge – appeared to have changed their outlook. The opening stages were quite low key with few chances.

The hosts looked to keep the game tight. They were compact in midfield and often had ten men behind the ball, inviting Brentford to play in front of them. The Bees dominated possession for long stages of the first half but found it a challenge to get past the amber and black wall that had been built in front of them. When Brentford moved the ball quickly they were able to create openings and with Sergi Canós and Ollie Watkins looking to drive forward, The Bees had the upper hand.

The game was stop-start in the first half with Hull committing lots of fouls to try and halt Brentford’s progress. The game was cagey with Hull not prepared to put men forward, except on the counter-attack. The chances in the first half hour went the way of The Bees. Ryan Woods shot wide after a clever short corner before Allan McGregor saved at the feet of Neal Maupay when the striker tried to get on to a Watkins pass. Maupay went close again later in the half after a one-two with Canós but pulled his shot wide of the far post.

Despite Brentford having the better of it, Hull had the two best chances of the first half. When a long throw wasn’t cleared, Fraizer Campbell swivelled and let fly with a shot that Daniel Bentley tipped over. And the resulting corner was met by Michael Dawson but his powerful downward header was superbly saved by Bentley low to his right.

Those chances were against the run of play and Brentford ended the half on top. McGregor saved unconvincingly with his feet after Canós had burst through and let fly from 20 yards. The Hull goalkeeper then denied Watkins before a Yoann Barbet shot was blocked. That was the extent of the first half chances but there were signs that Canós and Watkins might be able to open Hull up as the hosts started to tire, unable to hassle Brentford all over the pitch for the full 45 minutes.

The home side came put after the break with far more ambition but that left gaps for Brentford to exploit. And The Bees did just that within 90 seconds of the re-start. They broke from a Hull corner and Maupay fed Watkins on the right, his low cross would have been converted at the far post by Canós but Meyler beat him to it and lashed it in to his own net. The Hull man had few options but could perhaps have done better than put The Bees in front, albeit Canós was lurking with intent behind him.

There had already been signs that Hull had more life after the break and that goal actually gave the hosts an extra boost. A Campbell shot was saved and seven minutes after falling behind, Hull were level. Brentford failed to clear a corner and a touch from Grosicki took two defenders out of the game, he then let fly from 22 yards and the shot whistled in to the net. Bentley was left helpless by the shot but Brentford’s defending of the second ball from the set piece could probably have been better.

Having levelled so quickly, confidence started to surge through Hull. The previously quiet home crowd was stirred in to life and the hosts took control of the game. They were quicker to everything in midfield and Jon Toral, newly introduced, was picking the ball up and running at the Brentford defence. Toral almost earned himself a goal when he robbed Barbet but his shot was blocked. Fikayo Tomori saw a shot deflect wide and, when the resulting corner was half cleared, Bentley denied Campbell.

Bentley saved from Ola Aina but the goal Hull had been threatening came with 20 minutes to go. Nico Yennaris was penalised after a coming together with Meyler and Larsson curled a free kick from 35 yards out of the reach of Bentley and in to the bottom corner. It should have been 3-1 moments later when Hull broke quickly, Grosicki delivered a cross from the left and Campbell could only fire the ball over, via the crossbar, on the stretch.

That was, however, just a brief escape for The Bees and the third goal arrived moments later. Toral was the creator this time with a run through the middle, with players to pick out in front of him he chose Irvine and the midfield man finished well. Campbell had made a run that took him in to an offside position but did not touch the ball and was deemed to not be interfering as Irvine slotted home.

That gave Brentford a mountain to climb but Watkins had a shot blocked after cutting inside. The game was then halted for a head injury to Meyler and when the game resumed Brentford surged forward. They reduced the deficit when Florian Jozefzoon saw a free kick well saved by McGregor, Watkins drilled the ball back across and Egan headed in. With eight minutes of injury time signalled, Brentford had a chance to take something from the match.

Hull’s nerves were obvious as Brentford dominated possession and pushed the hosts back. But the hosts could have eased them when they broke away, Irvine and Toral set up Nouha Dicko and he should have scored from seven yards but Bentley saved. That gave The Bees a chance and McGregor made a fine save low to his right from Watkins in the dying seconds. There were a few hairy moments for the home defence but they held on to take a win that their second half performance probably deserved.

Hull City: McGregor; Tomori, Dawson, Mazuch, Clark (sub Toral 51 mins); Larsson, Meyler (sub Luer 83 mins); Aina, Irvine, Grosicki; Campbell (sub Dicko 83 mins)

Subs (not used): Marshall, Diomande, Batty, Clackstone

Bookings: Aina (78 mins), Luer (90 mins)

Brentford: Bentley; Clarke, Egan, Bjelland, Barbet; Woods; Canós (sub McEachran 73 mins), Sawyers (sub Jozefzoon 73 mins), Mokotjo (sub Yennaris 63 mins), Watkins; Maupay

Subs (not used): Daniels, Mepham, Chatzitheodoridis, Macleod

Bookings: Egan (90 mins) (second of season), Maupay (90 mins) (sixth of season)

Attendance: 14,620 (607 Bees fans)

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