Hull continue home run against Birmingham

Hull claimed a third consecutive home win with a controlled 3-0 victory against Birmingham.

Tom Eaves opened the scoring for Grant McCann’s side in first-half injury-time before Kamil Grosicki added a second.

Substitute Keane Lewis-Potter added sheen to the scoreline late in the game as Birmingham wilted under pressure.

Hull continue to make quiet headway towards the Sky Bet Championship play-offs and were good value against a Birmingham team that have now lost three matches on the bounce.

Blues had looked defensively organised for large parts of the game, but they lost concentration when Eaves artfully headed home Grosicki’s corner.

Grosicki then got in on the act after 58 minutes when he delicately chipped the ball over onrushing goalkeeper Connal Trueman following Jarrod Bowen’s defence-splitting pass.

Hull have now won their previous six home games against Birmingham and finished with a flourish when Lewis-Potter thrashed home Eric Lichaj’s precise delivery through the middle after 88 minutes.

Winger Josh Bowler set the early tone when he cut inside from the right and let rip with a smart strike which was deflected for a corner – with Trueman beaten.

Birmingham at least managed to subdue Hull’s early vigour, but the home side remained on top.

That was until the 25th minute, when a mix-up between Leo Lopes and Jordy de Wijs allowed Jeremie Bela space inside Hull’s penalty area.

Lopes, seemingly desperate to make up for his early mistake, bustled Bela towards the ground.

Birmingham manager Pep Clotet was convinced a penalty should have been awarded, but referee Anthony Backhouse was unmoved.

The visitors were perhaps incensed and motivated in equal measure, but it unquestionably had an impact on what had hitherto been a one-sided first half.

Birmingham midfielder Fran Villalba underscored the slight shift in momentum with a shot from the edge of Hull’s penalty box after 30 minutes.

Goalkeeper George Long could only parry the ball into a dangerous central area, but Hull’s defence stood firm.

Just when it appeared the hosts’ brightness had dimmed, Eaves scored his fourth league goal of the season.

Hull’s set-pieces had been poor, but Grosicki finally got it right with a perfect left-sided corner from which Eaves glanced the ball over Trueman and into the back of the net.

Birmingham showed more forcefulness in the second half, but it left Clotet’s men open to the counter-attack.

No better was this illustrated than in the 52 minute when Grosicki wastefully fired over the crossbar from a quick Hull break.

But with the Poland international having now found his range, Grosicki essentially put the game beyond Birmingham with a lovely second goal just six minutes later.

Clotet’s men should have scored after 74 minutes when Alvaro Giminez inexplicably headed Jefferson Montero’s cross wide inside the six-yard box.

Hull had already done enough, though, and later made it 3-0 thanks to Lewis-Potter’s powerful, skidding hit with his right foot.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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