TERRY’S PARTY

Waste­ful Villa fail to build on bright open­ing

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

Al­lan McGre­gor de­nied Villa’s long­est-serv­ing player with a fine stop, but was pow­er­less to pre­vent the 30-year-old con­vert­ing Alan Hut­ton’s low cross at the back post mo­ments later.

Ag­bon­la­hor, who looked in good nick af­ter well-pub­li­cised fit­ness is­sues, has now scored in 11 con­sec­u­tive sea­sons for the Vil­lains and cel­e­brated with a classy cross-city tribute to Wolves’ can­cer-stricken goal­keeper Carl Ikeme.

By half-time, it should have been three. Scott Ho­gan danced past Michael Daw­son but couldn’t beat McGre­gor, then failed to con­nect with Ahmed El­mo­hamady’s en­tic­ing cen­tre.

Lans­bury, ef­fer­ves­cent in the No.10 role, also struck straight at Hull’s over­worked stop­per. And Villa, thor­oughly punched out af­ter their blitzkrieg start, would pay dearly for their profli­gacy.

Hull had hinted at a re­vival shortly be­fore the break, Abel Hernandez test­ing Sam John­stone, swiftly fol­lowed by Kamil Grosicki. The Poland in­ter­na­tional, patently a class above this di­vi­sion, was the cat­a­lyst for a vastly-im­proved sec­ond half.

Keep­ing the 29-year-old at the KC is crit­i­cal to Hull’s hopes of a play-off push, as he proved with an ex­pertly dinked cross that Bowen nerve­lessly thumped home for his first ca­reer goal.

Slut­sky ad­mit­ted the first 20 min­utes had been “very bad” but is con­vinced his young squad will im­prove.

“For them and for me, it was the first match in this league against a big team,” he said. “I am very proud. Of course we need some new play­ers but we have enough lead­ers to be con­fi­dent.”

STILL A THREAT: John Terry rises high­est to head at goal

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