FOOT­BALL FEVER

Re­ports & re­ac­tion from Pre­mier League to Na­tional League

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FRONT PAGE - Leon Wob­schall AT KCOM STA­DIUM Email: leon.wob­schall@ypn.co.uk Twit­ter: @LeonWobYP

THE back to school posters that are fes­tooned in stores across the land pos­sess a cer­tain sig­nif­i­cance for Hull City.

Classes be­gin again for mil­lions of chil­dren this week fol­low­ing the sum­mer break, but the Tigers have al­ready been on the re­ceiv­ing end of a few lessons and harsh ones at that this sea­son.

The need to pay at­ten­tion at all times is strik­ingly ob­vi­ous and plenty of home­work re­mains.

In the street­wise Cham­pi­onship, lapses in con­cen­tra­tion and a lack of ruth­less­ness at both ends of the pitch are bru­tally pun­ished, as Nigel Ad­kins’s side are find­ing out the hard way.

A rous­ing sec­ond-half of sub­stance af­ter pre­sent­ing Derby with a first-half gift was spoiled by an un­for­tu­nate, but soft late con­ces­sion as the hosts were floored by a sucker punch – and a third straight loss in a week.

This lat­est home de­feat, a fourth suc­ces­sive de­feat in all com­pe­ti­tions at the KCOM, may not have been as sav­age as Tues­day’s 4-0 Carabao Cup pum­melling against a ram­pant Derby, but it will have felt just as wound­ing.

Florian Jozefzoon’s 88thminute win­ner, with his shot de­flect­ing in off Stephen Kings­ley, was cruel and un­de­served. But it show­cased Hull’s fail­ings all the same and need to wise-up fast.

For­tu­nately, there is some hope in the shape of been-around-the-block dead­line-day sign­ings Tommy Elphick and Chris Martin.

The brief of Elphick, an un­used substitute on Satur­day, will be to pro­vide or­gan­i­sa­tion and nous to a back four whose co­he­sive­ness as a col­lec­tive unit is de­fi­cient.

An­other wily cam­paigner in Martin, in­el­i­gi­ble against his par­ent club at the week­end, will be en­trusted with sup­ply­ing Hull with some badly-needed preda­tory punch up top and fin­ish­ing the sort of chances which the hosts spurned in the sec­ond-half.

That said, the goal they did reg­is­ter was clin­i­cal, but ar­rived from a mid­fielder not known for his goal-scor­ing in Todd Kane.

It was an equaliser right out of the top-drawer, with an Evan­dro pass weighted to per­fec­tion, with the Chelsea loa­nee pro­duc­ing an in­stinc­tive fin­ish that would have had a watch­ing Stam­ford Bridge le­gend nod­ding his head in ap­pre­ci­a­tion – if he was not the man­ager of Satur­day’s op­po­nents.

Derby chief Frank Lam­pard was rather hap­pier with late de­vel­op­ments, which took the shine off Kane’s first goal for Hull.

Kane said: “He (Lam­pard) just said: ‘ What are you do­ing scor­ing against my team!’ I said: ‘You taught me’.

“I re­mem­ber when I was younger and I used to watch him af­ter train­ing do­ing what­ever.

“He is one of my idols and any time I see him, we have a good con­ver­sa­tion and he has al­ways helped me in my ca­reer. He was there when I was 16 and 17 and around the first team ev­ery day.

“He told me to keep on work­ing hard and said my work ethic and ef­fort would get me a long way.”

On his sweet strike, he added: “I was very happy with the goal, con­sid­er­ing I am not the type of guy who gets a lot of goals. I think the sec­ond-half per­for­mance was prob­a­bly our best of the sea­son. But we have still con­ceded a goal and lost.”

Derby’s win­ner was the lat­est blow in a start to the Cham­pi­onship sea­son which has been as un­com­fort­able as Theresa May’s danc­ing for the Tigers. An un­quench­able op­ti­mist, Ad­kins put on a brave face after­wards, but how he would have loved to talk about a scrappy dis­play and three points and not a fair show­ing with no re­ward. The fact that Lam­pard ac­knowl­edged that Hull were un­for­tu­nate not to pick up a point af­ter dom­i­nat­ing the sec­ond half may have pro­vided a spot of con­so­la­tion to Ad­kins, but not too much.

You can af­ford to be char­i­ta­ble when you have just seen your side reg­is­ter their fourth straight win. Af­ter Tues­day’s pun­ish­ing events, Hull in­flicted an­other self-in­flicted wound on 23 min­utes when Jordy De Wijs, hood­winked by the clever move­ment of David Nu­gent, pan­icked and felled the striker in the area.

South Shields-born Mar­tyn Waghorn again showed his lik­ing for the east coast air by fol­low­ing up his maiden Derby strike in mid­week with an­other goal, con­fi­dently send­ing David Mar­shall the wrong way from the spot.

Hull’s ap­petite was there, but the cut­ting edge was not, with Mar­shall mak­ing key saves to deny Ma­son Mount and Scott Malone be­fore the break, Nu­gent’s header also hit the bar. Nu­gent hared away on the restart be- fore fir­ing wide – the cue for Hull to in­sti­gate an im­pres­sive and sus­tained rally. Jar­rod Bowen fired into the side-net­ting be­fore Kane’s fine leveller re­stored par­ity. A loose ball was then steered wide by Evan­dro, and Scott Car­son did well to beat away Markus Hen­rik­sen’s fiercely-struck drive, with a sec­ond goal stub­bornly re­fus­ing to ar­rive for the hosts.

At the other end, the lin­ger­ing im­pres­sion re­mained that this was a Hull back four who will al­ways give teams a chance.

That was re­in­forced when substitute Ma­son Ben­nett found space down the left be­fore pulling the ball back into the dan­ger zone, with Jozefzoon be­ing the first to re­act, his de­flected strike soon nestling in the net.

PIC­TURES: BRUCE ROLLINSON

Hull City’s Todd Kane cel­e­brates scor­ing for the Tigers in front of his hero, Derby County man­ager and former Chelsea club-mate Frank Lam­pard, be­fore Florian Jozefzoon nets an 88th-minute win­ner for the Rams, in­set.

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