Hero image of hull city fans watching a game from the stand

Hull City 1-2 Watford

Match Report
Hull City

By Jack Watson

That was like a knife in the heart. We were beaten by Watford 1-2 in our own backyard, under the lights of the MKM Stadium. I was optimistic about this game after we had a fantastic result earlier in the week against Rotherham. But, in reality, they were in the relegation zone and not much of a competition–even our opponent beat them 5-0! Nonetheless, the quality of football was there to beat any team that we faced. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.

Watford, now 10th in the table, headed into this game with two wins, two draws and one loss (to league leaders, Leicester) in their previous five games and have only won one away game throughout the season. For us, we have won three, drawn one and lost one in our last five league games and we were hoping to make this our fourth back-to-back home win.

Par for the course, Rosenior did not make any changes to the starting eleven, who beat Rotherham on Tuesday night. That meant we lined up as follows: Ryan Allsop betwixt the sticks; Lewie Coyle, Alfie Jones, Jacob Greaves and Cyrus Christie as the back-line; Jean Seri and Tyler Morton in the middle; Jaden Philogene and Jason Lokilo on both wings and Liam Delap and Scott Twine in attack.

We got the match underway, with just a minute on the clock, earning our first chance. Twine picked out Coyle and threaded the ball through two defenders to reach the captain on the right, who sent a cross into the area, where Morton headed it on target, but it was parried away by Hamer. This was followed up by a shot from far out by Alfie Jones, which swerved off target.

Then, unsurprisingly, the Hornets hit back and opened the scoring after just eight minutes of playing; Jamal Lewis crossed the ball towards a central area, where Kayembe, unmarked with time and space, took a touch and swept home. A defensive error and we must cut this out.

Not to worry, our response was swift and decisive and it took us just two minutes to equalise; in the 10th minute, Delap received the ball on the halfway line, turned and made a darting run towards the box, where he beat all of his men, before being taken to the ground. Everyone inside the stadium was crying for a penalty, however, Twine got onto the loose ball and slotted it in towards the far-right corner. That’s two in two for the number 30 and it is what he needed to boost his confidence. Hopefully, he can do the same with his set pieces.

The rest of the half was uneventful, with Philogene having the only exciting opportunity on the 22 minute mark, when he cut inside from the left, before arching a nice goal bound hit that was tipped over the bar by Hamer. Watford's best chance came towards the end of the half, when Ismael Kone from the edge of the box, curled one towards the top-left corner, which forced a save from Allsop.

The first 45 minutes ended square.

By contrast, the second period was very eventful, with The Tigers having the first share of the pie. Seri made a great pass towards Philogene on the right, who took a brilliant first touch and drove towards goal, before shooting towards the bottom-right corner, but it hit the side netting after some great defensive work from Hoedt steered it wide.

Then, we were given an amazing opportunity to take the lead in the 60th minute. Jason Lokilo swung in a corner, which landed perfectly for Greaves, who took a touch before being brought down by former Tiger, Jake Livermore. The ref pointed towards the spot and Philogene, who had just been taken off for treatment, was put up to the job. The man on fire was not able to keep composure in a crucial stage of the match and his weak effort towards the bottom-left was put behind for a corner. Perhaps Delap, Morton or Twine should have taken it? After all, Philogene took a whack moments before.

Nonetheless, we piled on the pressure and it was safe to say the visitors were out of the contest - for now. Twine had an opportunity shortly after, when Lokilo picked him out unmarked and his volley was bound to be on target, but Philogene was in the way and blocked it. Thus, the rebound was picked up by Delap whose shot was comfortably saved by Hamer. Even Philogene had a chance when he dribbled past his men, before getting his shot off, which fizzled wide.

Alas, we were not able to take our chances and Watford, in the 74th minute, still had something left in the tank. Allsop passed to Morton on the edge of the box, found Delap, who was dispossessed by Hoedt before he could turn. The Dutch international saw Allsop off his line and, from 40 yards out, lobbed the ball into the back of the net. The galling aspect was, Allsop did not even put his arms out to try and prevent it. The MKM was stunned into silence and that summed up our game.

We cannot win them all and we are expected to have matches like this; it is inevitable. We played some exquisite football, with 61% of the possession; 22 shots to their 11 and 651 passes completed, to back it up. It was just a couple of vital sloppy mistakes, which let us down. Fortunately for us, West Bromwich, Blackburn and Preston lost, with Sunderland drawing, so we remain in sixth-place. Also, we have an excellent opportunity to regroup and go again next week when we face 22nd place QPR at Loftus Road, which I will be going to.

Award held by John and Nathaniel
Football Content Awards, 2022

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