Hernandez is Abel eventually!
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.”
REDEMPTION: Abel Hernandez tucks away what proved to be the winner for Hull City