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Hull City v Dundee United
31 July 2010
Although the home side were playing in the English Premier League last season, United looked every match for them, particularly in the first half, when their touch and movement saw them have the bulk of play.

Hull City certainly weren't taking the 'friendly' tone of the match at its literal meaning, with Nolberto Solano and Caleb Folan both guilty of challenges in the first five minutes of the match which would have earned them yellow cards in a competitive game.

The Tigers took the lead in the tenth minute through a spectacular strike from midfielder Tom Cairney. The Scotland Under 19 international's first attempt was blocked by Scott Robertson, but the ball dropped invitingly for Cairney to blast an unstoppable 25-yard effort into the top corner.

United were level within four minutes, when Paul Dixon delivered an inswinging free kick deep into the Hull area, where trialist Irmantas Zelmikas diverted the ball beyond Duke and into the net.

With a midfield quartet of Sean Dillon, Morgaro Gomis, Prince Buaben and Scott Robertson, United were comfortable spraying passes around the midfield, and support from both full backs kept Hull working hard to repel the visitors.

Paul Dixon hit an effort from long range just before the half hour which Duke failed to hold, before the Hull 'keeper denied Goodwillie with a good save after the striker's run had been found by a Buaben through ball.

At the other end, United had to defend a few corners, though barely looked under pressure from them, with Kenneth clearing under pressure from Folan late in the half.

After making a couple of changes in personnel at half time, Hull got themselves back in front five minutes into the second half in very fortuitous fashion.

Although they themselves seemed to be on the receiving end of some aggressive challenges from their hosts, United were getting frustrated at some apparent soft decisions being awarded against them for challenges, and it was one of these which led to the winning goal.

Sean Dillon was harshly penalised for a challenge on Folan twenty five yards out. Set piece specialist Solano was instantly on the scene, and his free kick took a sizeable deflection off the wall, seemingly wrong footing Pernis.

However, the Slovakian adjusted his balance superbly to thrust out a strong right hand to block the ball. Unfortunately for United, he parried it into the chest of the helpless Zelmikas, whose attempts to hook the ball clear were in vain as it fell over the goal-line.

Nick Barmby should have made it 3-1 three minutes later, bursting clear after dispossessing Garry Kenneth, but he dragged his shot wide of goal.

United continued to look comfortable in possession, though with a number of attacking players being rested with minor knocks, Goodwillie and Casalinuovo were getting through a power of work up front.

Duke looked uncomfortable when he dropped a Dixon corner midway through the second half, and Goodwillie almost levelled fifteen minutes from the end after Gomis had laid the ball off to him inside the Hull area. The striker's shot had plenty of power, but rose agonisingly a few inches over the crossbar.

Towards the end, substitute Andis Shala poked a shot just wide, but United couldn't find an equaliser which they would have thoroughly deserved on the overall balance of play.


Hull City:
Duke, Solano (Cullen 69), Kilbane, Olofinjana (Ashbee 46), Gardner (c), Zayette, Garcia, Barmby (Devitt 58), Folan, Cairney, Halmosi (Atkinson 46).

Subs Not Used: Oxley (gk), McShane, Cooper, Featherstone, Cousin.

Scorers: Cairney (10), Trialist (Zelmikas) o.g. 50

Dundee United: Pernis, Watson, Dixon (Douglas 80), Trialist (Zemlikas), Kenneth (Dods 80), S. Robertson (c), Dillon, Buaben (Shala 76), Goodwillie (Trialist [Hasselbaink] 86), Casalinuovo (Myrie-Williams 76), Gomis.

Subs Not Used: Banks (gk), Dow.

Scorers: Trialist (Zelmikas) 14

July 2010  

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