A single, if not spectacular goal, from Robert Koren earned Hull all three points in Nick Barmby’s first game in charge leaving Posh rueing their missed chances in a game that they should have had in the bag in the opening minutes.
Ahead of the game Darren Ferguson’s selection raised a few eyebrows as Paul Taylor and Scott Wootton were dropped to the bench and joined by Nicky Ajose who was making his first return since the opening day of the season. Joe Newell and Daniel Kearns were drafted into midfield and Mark Little returned to the side making his first start in over two months.
Like always the young Posh side started strongly and within the first couple of minutes Emile Sinclair had a long range shot pushed around the post by Vito Mannone on loan from Arsenal. Minutes later Sinclair ha another chance, this time more clear cut, as he rounded Mannone but scuffed the finish into an empty net which was eventually cleared by James Chester. Hull’s first shot on target didn’t come until the 12th minute but Cameron Stewart pulled his shot left of the target.
On 23 minutes Posh felt they should have been awarded a penalty when Liam Rosenior fouled Lee Tomlin in the box but the referee awarded a free-kick just on the edge of the area which Tomlin then fired over. This decision proved costly when on 27 minutes the deadlock was broken and Hull were ahead when Aaron Mclean drove play down the right before passing inside to Robert Koren who smashed home from just outside the penalty box. The volleyed landed perfectly in the bottom left hand corner of the goal giving Joe Lewis no chance of saving.
It could be said that the goal came against the run of play although from the point Hull livened up. Although again on 44 minutes Posh had another penalty decision turned down this time when Mannone flattened Kearns but again the referee cleared away the protests.
Posh fans were calling for the arrival of Taylor at half-time but neither side made a change. Again it was Posh who had the better chances after the re-start when four minutes into the half Tomlin capped a good move by Posh but his shot was aimed straight at Monnone.
On 55 minutes Taylor was introduced to play, replacing Newell, but he failed to make little impact. Hull’s changes on the other hand proved more effective. Robbie Brady and Joe Dudgeon came on for Matty Fryatt and Koren and within minutes Dudgeon set up a great chance for Mclean to make it 2-0, but he was off target then Dudgeon got on the end of Brady’s low cross but could only find the side-netting.
Two minutes later Mclean did have the ball in the back of the net but it was ruled out after Evans had collided with Lewis. Posh were struggling to get in the game form that point. Stewart came within inches of scoring for Hull then Brady struck the inside of the post before the ball thankfully rolled along the line to safely as Lewis was rooted to the spot.
Lewis did come to the rescue in 87 minutes when he was on hand to palm away a curling shot from Mclean. Even the arrival of Ajose couldn’t change things around as the remaining minutes of the game trickled away.
It seems our problem is still a lack of finishing in the final third and really it has been a problem all season. Yes we are getting goals but we’re still missing that one player that if you saw his name on the team sheet you’d be confident we would have chances. However with both Darragh MacAnthony and Darren Ferguson saying we won’t be buying anyone in the January transfer window things aren’t exactly looking promising in that area. Perhaps the return of Nicky Ajose could solve that problem – Ferguson has definitely been singing his praise in training.
Posh: Lewis, Little, Bennett, Zakuani, Alcock, Tunnicliffe, Newell (Taylor: 56), Kearns (Wootton: 73), Tomlin, Boyd, Sinclair (Ajose: 85). Unused subs: Jones, Ntlhe
Hull: Mannone, Rosenior, Dawson, Chester, Hobbs, McKenna, Stewart (Cairney: 81), Evans, Koren (Dudgeon: 63), Mclean, Fryatt (Brady: 63). Unused subs: Carson, Cooper