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Report | Tigers come out on top against Royals

Second half turnaround gives Hull 3-1 win

6 April 2019

Hull City completed a second-half turnaround against Reading, to beat the Royals 3-1 at the KCOM Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

A fantastic strike from Lewis Baker had given the Royals a half-time lead on Humberside, before a brace from Poland international, Kamil Grosicki and a rebound from Marc Pugh gave the hosts all three points.

The exchanging of the team sheets saw one alteration for Reading - Nélson Oliveira returning to the starting line-up, with John Swift missing out through injury. Academy graduate, Josh Barrett was also available from the bench for his first involvement with the first team this season.

Hull started the game at pace, getting on the front foot from the off and putting Reading under immediate pressure. A neat interchange between Jackson Irvine and Kamil Grosicki, who scored a brace last weekend at Ipswich, saw the ball arrowed in low across goal, with Emi Martínez committing early and smothering the loose ball.

It took time for the Royals to grow into the game, with neither goalkeeper troubled in earnest for the first 10 minutes or so at the KCOM.

But out of the blue, a goal of the season contender put the Royals in front. A corner from Mo Barrow was cut out to Ovie Ejaria, who laid off to Lewis Baker 25 yards from goal. The midfielder is strong with both feet, but chose his left to curl an exquisite strike into the top corner through the crowded box. Terrific stuff from the Chelsea loanee.

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But the hosts were keen to rectify the difference quickly, picking off a short goal kick and switching to Jarrod Bowen in the box. He cut away and got a shot off, but for a typically brave block from Liam Moore to stop the danger.

From a wide free kick, however, Reading almost had a second. The set piece was powered towards the front post and Tyler Blackett, but Marc Pugh got to it first, sending the ball back and only missing an own goal with a ricochet off the crossbar. 

The Tigers were growing increasingly frustrated by their own lack of fortune going forward, with free kicks and corners being misplaced and finding themselves thwarted by a resolute Reading defence that were giving no quarter on Humberside.

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But they did go close five minutes before the interval, an in-swinging corner reaching Jordy de Wijs at the far post - who headed low and wide in City's best chance of the half.

Hull didn't stop there, with a cut-back into the box met by Bowen, dragging a low strike well wide. 

Half time | Hull City 0-1 Reading

The second half started with a big chance at both ends. A Grosicki free kick from the edge of the box was blocked by a six-man Reading wall, before Baker broke at speed and took four of his teammates with him.

Oliveira was the target in the box, who tried to take the goalkeeper out of commission by chipping to the far post - narrowly beyond the outstretched leg of Barrow and the score remained 1-0, but only for a few seconds longer.

Grosicki was set off on the left and powered his way towards goal, Martínez tried to narrow the angle but the Polish player, capped 66 times by his country, slotted to the far corner, the ball trickling over the line after hitting the post. All square again at the KCOM.

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Shortly afterwards, Reading had the ball in the net - to no avail. Ejaria set Yiadom on a run to the byline, who cut back for Méïté to finish confidently. The flag had already gone up against Yiadom, however, and the goal was chalked off.

The match had well and truly opened up at this point, as had the Reading defence when Grosicki was played clean through on goal once more, bearing down on Martínez. He slotted past the goalkeeper, but only inches wide. Fraizer Campbell then found himself in space in the box too, before Moore was once again able to thwart him by getting his body in the way. The Tigers had their tails up.

But Andy Rinomhota's tenacity enabled him to steal possession 25 yards out. He slid through to Barrow, before a superb tip onto the post from David Marshall stopped Reading re-taking the lead. 

Just moments later, Hull capitalised up the other end to take the lead. A low ball into the area from Grosicki saw Martínez save a powerful initial strike, before Pugh followed up to poke into the unguarded net and put the hosts in front.

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A quick counter-attack from the hosts saw them add a third 15 minutes from time, as a through-ball from their own half found Grosicki and allowed him to stretch his legs. He made no mistake in firing in and giving Hull a vital cushion in the game.

A triple substitution followed for the Royals, changing the entire front three as they looked to get back into the game.

Tyler Blackett threw caution to the wind by slinging a throw-in to the six-yard box. Callum Harriott was over it, but couldn't make clean contact as Marshall gathered.

Full time | Hull City 3-1 Reading

Hull City: Marshall, Lichaj, De Wijs, Burke, Pugh (Evandro 86), Grosicki (Stewart 88), Irvine, Kane, Bowen, Henriksen (c), Campbell (Martin 84).
Subs: Long, Batty, McKenzie, Ridgewell.
Goals: Grosicki (53, 77), Pugh (66)
Yellow: De Wijs, Irvine, Martin

Reading: Martínez, Yiadom, Miazga, Moore (c), Blackett, Rinomhota, Baker, Ejaria, Barrow (Harriott 78), Méïté (Loader 78), Oliveira (McCleary 78).
Subs: Walker, Gunter, Kelly, Barrett.
Goals: Baker (17)
Yellow: Martínez, Blackett

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