Town pay the price for a poor second half as Hull claim the points

Championship: Luton Town 0 Hull City 3

Saturday, 21st September 2019, 7:23 pm
Andrew Shinnie looks to challenge Hull's Kamil Grosicki
Andrew Shinnie looks to challenge Hull's Kamil Grosicki

A woeful second half display saw the Hatters fall to a disappointing 3-0 defeat against Hull City at Kenilworth Road this afternoon.

Goalless at the break, with precious little opportunities created by either side, the points were there to be taken, the visitors doing just that during the second 45, scoring three times, as Town's inability to keep clean sheets came back to bite them yet again.

Once Kevin Stewart put the visitors in front just after the hour, there was only one place the points were going, and that was back to Humberside as Luton looked well short of the progressive side they have done since the Championship began.

The hosts named an unchanged team from the side who lost 3-2 at QPR last weekend, although Dan Potts came in for Brendan Galloway on the bench.

An excellent burst forward by Izzy Brown saw Town almost in early on, the midfielder looking up to find Harry Cornick, whose effort was blocked.

With 15 to gone, Hull created a fine opening on the left, Kamil Grosicki, beating the advancing Simon Sluga to pick out Tom Eaves in the middle, but the striker's control was found wanting, allowing Town's keeper to pounce on the loose ball.

The visitors then enjoyed a spell of pressure, with Eric Lichaj freed on the right hand side, crossing for Jackson Irvine to head over the top.

It took until the 43rd minute of the encounter for the game's first shot on target, as Luton gave possession away, Leonard Da Silva Lopes finding Eaves, who turned Sonny Bradley with ease, his effort well handled by Sluga.

Town, whose supporters spent plenty of the half taking much merriment from rivals Watford's capitulation at Manchester City, trailing 5-0, then went straight up the other end to fashion their best chance of the opening 45, Cornick teeing up Shinnie, who hammered over.

City took the ineffective Eaves off for Josh Magennis at the break, as they looked to add to Town's poor record of conceding early in the second period at home this term, Kevin Stewart rifling over from 20 yards.

A game that was low on quality after the break then saw the deadlock broken with 63 minutes on the clock.

Hull advanced on the left, Grosicki's ball into the area saw Bradley challenge Magennis effectively, but Stewart slammed the loose ball into the ground and beyond a helpless Sluga.

Grosicki then went close himself, firing a potshot just inches wide from 20 yards, while buoyed by the goal, City grew in adventure, Bowen curling over the bar.

Town were inches away from a leveller on 70 minutes, Ryan Tunnicliffe's measured effort from the edge of the box tipped behind by Long.

From the corner, James Bree headed goalwards, with Long repelling the ball, the rebound hitting a defender and Tigers' keeper managing to throw himself on it, referee Andrew Madley signalling it hadn't crossed the line.

Luton were never able to mount a serious head of steam in the closing stages though, too often keeping the ball at the back, then retreating to Sluga rather than try and pile the pressure on their opponents.

They should have been 2-0 behind with five minutes to go, Bowen racing away and sending Grosicki through, who with just Sluga to beat, rolled wide of the target.

Off the bench, Potts might have brought Town level immediately, unable to keep his glancing header down from Shinnie's set-piece.

It was game over with three minutes to go though, as Grosicki cut in from the left hand side and this time had his shooting boots on, beating Sluga down low at his near post.

Things went from bad to worse in the final seconds as well, as Bowen just set off and with Town back-pedalling until he was faced with Sluga, fired low, the keeper making a good stop with his legs.

As he went to grab the loose ball from dribbling over the line, Potts, with no Hull player around him, bizarrely tried to clear the danger, whacking the ball into Sluga, and although he stopped the rebound from going in, Stewart was there for comedic third, although by this point, no-one in orange was laughing much.

Hatters: Simon Sluga, Luke Bolton (Dan Potts 76), James Bree, Matty Pearson, Sonny Bradley, Izzy Brown (Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu 64), Ryan Tunnicliffe, Andrew Shinnie, Kazenga LuaLua (George Moncur 64), Harry Cornick, James Collins.

Subs not used: James Shea, Jacob Butterfield, Lloyd Jones, Elliot Lee.

Tigers: George Long, Eric Lichaj, Jordy de Wijs, Reece Burke, Kevin Stewart, Tom Eaves (Josh Magennis 46), Kamil Grosicki, Jarrod Bowen, Stephen Kingsley, Jackson Irvine, Leonardo Da Silva Lopes (George Honeyman 66).

Subs not used: Ryan Tafazolli, Dan Batty, Matt Ingram, Josh Bowler, Matthew Penningston.

Booked: Grosicki 88, Honeyman 89.

Referee: Andrew Madley.

Attendance: 10,066 (1,033 Hull).