Shane Long was a central figure against former club West Bromwich Albion as Hull City won 2-0 in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday.
The Irishman moved to Hull in January and was the scourge of his ex-employers at the KC Stadium, winning a penalty before scoring his team's second as Steve Bruce's men eased their relegation worries with a much-needed three points against the struggling visitors.
The Tigers took the lead when Long was adjudged to have been fouled by Craig Dawson in the 32nd minute, and although Ben Foster saved Nikica Jelavic's kick, Liam Rosenior followed up to head in his first goal for the club. Long got on the score-sheet himself six minutes later, poking home from 10 yards after a flick-on from Curtis Davies. The win was Hull's first at home in the Barclays Premier League this year and it deepened West Brom's woes, leaving Pepe Mel's side looking nervously over their shoulders at the bottom three.
The visitors started brightly, Stephane Sessegnon fizzing an effort narrowly over in the second minute, before Allan McGregor parried away Graham Dorrans' effort 16 minutes later. David Meyler missed Hull's first real chance in the 27th minute, directing a free header wide from six yards after Tom Huddlestone's superb delivery from a left-wing corner.
The hosts took the lead after Long won a penalty by nipping in front of Dawson before contact was made. Jelavic’s penalty was saved by Foster, but Rosenior was first to react and nodded the ball into the unguarded net.
Foster tipped Huddlestone's rasping drive over, but Long doubled the advantage from the resulting corner, turning home Davies' header after West Brom had failed to clear properly. Six minutes after the break, Jelavic fired just wide, and Rosenior cleared Victor Anichebe's header off the line three minutes later.
Long went close to a spectacular third midway through the half, seeing his curling effort from 20 yards crash back off a post with Foster stranded. West Brom had penalty appeals waved away when James Morrison went down under the challenge of Jake Livermore, before Long's eventful day came to a premature end 12 minutes from time as he hobbled off injured, having chased a ball into the corner.
Hull manager Steve Bruce: "It's huge [to win] at this time of the season when you're down to single figures in terms of games, and playing a team in and around you. The one thing we've done this season, apart from against Crystal Palace and Norwich, is overall we have managed to take points off the teams that will be around us.
"We didn't play well but we did enough with our resilience and attitude to get a result that's very important at this stage. I always said that we need 10 wins and you get enough draws to see you home. If we can get another to get to 36 and a couple of draws to 38 points it will keep you up this year because it's difficult for the teams below to win seven games."
West Bromwich Albion head coach Pepe Mel: "When I arrived at West Brom, Shane Long was going to Hull and that's football. Now our only focus is to win the next match against Cardiff."
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|03 May 2014||v Aston Villa (A)|
|29 Mar 2014||v Stoke (A)|
|20 Apr 2014||v Arsenal (H)|
|06 May 2014||v Man Utd (A)|
|05 Apr 2014||v Swansea (H)|