Her­nan­dez is Abel even­tu­ally!

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Joel Lamy

ABEL Her­nan­dez’s five goals this sea­son have all come from close range, and Hull boss Steve Bruce breathed a sigh of re­lief when the striker re­deemed him­self af­ter fluff­ing his lines from 12 yards.

The Uruguayan scored the win­ner to make it five matches un­beaten for pro­mo­tion-chal­leng­ing Hull, but only af­ter his weak penalty had been saved by the trail­ing leg of Not­ting­ham For­est goal­keeper Dorus De Vries in the first half.

In the end the penalty miss did not prove cru­cial as Hull kept For­est at bay, with the hosts hav­ing cen­tre-half Matt Mills sent off a few min­utes from full-time.

Bruce said: “That was an aw­ful penalty. He’s never missed one be­fore, I think he’s got five goals all from a yard out.

“We are show­ing a lit­tle bit of re­silience which away from home we have been miss­ing.

“We can im­prove – we were giv­ing the ball away too cheaply in the first half, but at the other end we looked a threat.

“We are still try­ing to find our feet. We are a cou­ple of months in and we are in a good po­si­tion. It’s been dif­fi­cult but slowly we are get­ting used to be­ing rel­e­gated.We are be­com­ing dif­fi­cult to play against. It’s nearly a quar­ter of the sea­son and we are there or there­abouts.”

Bruce would have been pleased with Allan McGre­gor’s fine div­ing stop af­ter 15 min­utes to palm away Nel­son Oliveira’s curl­ing ef­fort.

Mo­hammed Di­ame then rat­tled the For­est bar from 30 yards, be­fore the away side missed a great chance when ref­eree Nigel Miller gave a penalty against Mills for putting his arms on Shaun Maloney, who went down.

The home fans vented their dis­plea­sure at the de­ci­sion, but they soon roared with ap­proval as De Vries dived to his left and saved Her­nan­dez’s penalty.

The joy was short-lived though. Maloney took a quick cor­ner from the left and, with the home de­fence sleep­ing, Sam Clu­cas flicked on and Her­nan­dez put the ball away from a few yards out.

Ryan Men­des had missed a de­cent chance to give For­est the lead just be­fore Hull’s opener with McGre­gor sav­ing from the winger who had been played in by Vaughan, but af­ter the break there were few chances for the Reds to equalise.

Tem­pers flared in the last ten min­utes be­fore Mills, who had al­ready been booked for giv­ing away the penalty, was given a straight red for go­ing straight through sub­sti­tute Chuba Akpom.

Tyler Walker came on for For­est and had a goal-bound volley headed over by Curtis Davies but it be­came a sec­ond straight home de­feat the Reds, much to the frus­tra­tion of home boss Dougie Freedman who felt his side de­served bet­ter.

Freedman, who had no com­plaints about the ref­eree’s per­for­mance, said: “That was an out­stand­ing per­for­mance, es­pe­cially in the first 35 min­utes. We cre­ated a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“I felt we de­served more out of that game so over­all I’ve got to be dis­ap­pointed.

“It was a dis­ap­point­ing goal to give away. It was the in­tel­li­gence of Maloney that caught us out.

“The first goal just changed the whole game.

“It al­lowed them to come out in the sec­ond-half with that com­po­sure. It knocked the stuff­ing out of us a lit­tle bit.

“They have Premier­ship play­ers and they get in the right holes, but our com­mit­ment and skill level I could not have asked for any more.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

RE­DEMP­TION: Abel Her­nan­dez tucks away what proved to be the win­ner for Hull City

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