Chris Eagles on target but Wanderers are edged out at the KC Stadium
Wanderers’ trip to the KC Stadium ended in disappointment as Hull City took all three points.
The Tigers overturned a one-goal deficit to win the game 3-1, with a quick-fire double just after half-time effectively deciding the contest in the home team’s favour.
The Whites had taken an early lead when Chris Eagles smashed in his third goal of the season with a long-range free-kick.
But Hull pegged the scores back level on 29 minutes when Sone Aluko swept home inside the penalty area.
After the interval, Abdoulaye Faye headed Hull in front within a minute of the restart before debutant Stephen Quinn completed the scoring when he was in the right place to convert Jay Simpson’s centre on 48 minutes.
Owen Coyle made six changes to his side from the midweek loss at Crawley. The most notable inclusion was Jay Spearing who made his debut having joined on loan from Liverpool on transfer deadline day.
The midfielder was deployed in a 4-5-1 formation, allowing Keith Andrews and Mark Davies a licence to roam forward and assist lone striker Kevin Davies.
It was an enterprising start from both teams who looked to get the ball down and play football from the off.
The hosts had two decent openings inside the first ten minutes as Jay Simpson headed narrowly wide and captain Robert Koren unleashed a free-kick that missed the target by just a couple of yards.
Up the other end, Owen Coyle’s midfield and forward line began to have an influence on the action too.
Kevin Davies saw a far post header hit the side-netting and Keith Andrews’ deflected shot was comfortably held by Amos, this before Wanderers made the breakthrough on 17 minutes.
After the Whites had won a free-kick 35 yards from goal, Chris Eagles audaciously stepped-up to hammer the ball through a ruck of bodies and past the unsighted Ben Amos into the bottom corner of the net.
Bolton looked comfortable and in control but they were pegged back 12 minutes later when Hull City levelled the scores on the half-hour mark.
Following good work down the right from deadline day capture Ahmed Elmohamady, Sone Aluko was on hand to sweep the ball past the helpless Bogdan, who had been wrong-footed after the former Rangers man’s finish had taken a deflection.
The period of play after the equalising goal was at a relatively pedestrian pace, although on the stroke of half-time both Hull and Bolton had good opportunities to nudge ahead.
Firstly, Simpson ghosted in unmarked to head another pinpoint cross from Elmohamady wide by a matter of inches. Likewise, Eagles’ perseverance down the left channel allowed him to latch onto a through ball Andrews, only for Amos to make a fine sprawling save.
Hull came out at the start of the second half and made the best possible start, scoring within 60 seconds of the kick-off.
Debutant Stephen Quinn delivered an inswinging corner and former Wanderer Abdoulaye Faye towered highest to plant a header into the net.
Just two minutes later, the provider turned scorer as Quinn made the score 3-1.
Jay Simpson collected possession just inside the area, shrugged off the challenge of Tim Ream before squaring from the right for Quinn, who converted from close-range.
Coyle’s response was to throw on Benik Afobe for Keith Andrews, with the formation shifting to a 4-4-2.
However, Hull’s three could have been four on the stroke of the hour, had it not been for both posts. Again Faye rose to win a header inside the box, only for the ball to ricochet off the upright, roll along the goal-line and strike the frame of the goal again.
After the double setback at the beginning of the second period, Wanderers offered more of an attacking threat.
Mark Davies’ weaving run was thwarted with a last-ditch tackle, while Afobe dragged a shot wide from just four yards out having been released by Spearing.
Eagles curled another free-kick over the bar and substitute Marvin Sordell’s bullet header fizzed past the target.
Wanderers pressed and probed in the remainder of the game but Hull’s defence stood strong with time eventually running out.
Hull: Amos, Chester, Koren (McShane 88), Simpson (McLean 90), Olofinjana, Dudgeon, Faye, Aluko (Evans 69), Elmohamady, Bruce, Quinn (Subs not used: Oxley, Rosenior, Dawson, McLean, Proschwitz)
Wanderers: Bogdan, Mears, Ream, Knight, Ricketts, Eagles, Andrews (Afobe 53), Spearing, M Davies, Chung-Yong, K Davies (Sordell 77) (Subs not used: Lonergan, Alonso, Mills, Petrov, Pratley)