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Robbie Brady’s first half penalty was enough to secure Hull City a 1-0 victory over West Ham at the KC Stadium. The result secures back-to-back Barclays Premier League victories for Steve Bruce’s side, the first time Hull have achieved such a feat since October 2008.
Both sides played their part in an entertaining fixture, but the match was settled when Brady was adjudged to have been fouled by Joey O’Brien in the box and he turned the spot-kick home. James Tomkins had a header cleared off the line, while Jake Livermore went close to a second for Hull, but he could only hit a post. And with 15 minutes remaining West Ham had another penalty claim from a Jake Livermore handball turned away.
Bruce welcomed back Maynor Figueroa after the left-back missed the 3-2 win over Newcastle United last Saturday for personal reasons, while West Ham made just one change to the team who lost 3-2 to Everton, James Tomkins replacing James Collins at centre-back.
Hull made the most of a bright start by taking the lead in the 12th minute. Ahmed Elmohamady launched a hopeful ball into the box and Brady went down following contact from O’Brien. Kevin Friend awarded the spot-kick. Undeterred by the visitors’ protests, Brady picked himself up to send Jussi Jaaskelainen the wrong way.
The goal sparked West Ham into life and Tomkins saw his header from Matt Jarvis’s corner chested off the line by Elmohamady in the 20th minute. Goal-line technology showed the ball did not cross the line. Still, the away side pushed forward and Mohamed Diame should have done better when he met Jarvis’s centre but headed wide from eight yards before missing the ball with a wild swing at another Jarvis cross.
The home side weathered the storm and had several opportunities to extend their advantage before the break. First, Jaaskelainen made a smart save to his left from Sone Aluko’s free-kick, before Curtis Davies saw his header cleared off the line by Modibo Maiga. Jaaskelainen had to be alert again from the resulting corner to push Elmohamady’s near-post header wide.
The home side had the ball in the back of the net early in the second half when Aluko turned Tomkins and slotted past Jaaskelainen, but the celebrations were curtailed by the linesman’s flag. West Ham then had a penalty shout in the 53rd minute when Davies jumped to clear a free-kick and the ball hit his arm as it travelled towards the turf.
The away side were nearly punished further when Danny Graham controlled Tom Huddlestone’s pass before he laid into Livermore, whose driven effort rebounded off a post. Sam Allardyce’s side nearly got the leveller their second-half play deserved when Ricardo Vaz Te attempted a spectacular overhead kick from Ravel Morrison's cross, but Allan McGregor held safely to secure the points.
Hull City manager Steve Bruce: "I am delighted to have won it and the resilience and the desire to get a result was evident. We needed another goal to give us that impetus but we have hung on in there which has delighted me and to get 10 pionts from the first six games is a wonderful start for us and I hope it can continue.
"It is imperative that we get a few results at home and we are not going to get carried away with this. There are some difficult challenges ahead and some really good football teams to come here but we are making a fist of it at the moment and long may it continue."
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce: "We need to put our chances in the net. With some we were unlucky but with others we were not good enough in terms of finishing provided. At the end of the day it is all about putting the ball in the back of the net. We're struggling for natural finishers at this moment in time.
"We have lost playing well. We are doing ok and playing better than the opposition but doing that and not getting a result is not what we are in the game for."
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|05 Oct 2013||v Aston Villa (H)|
|21 Dec 2013||v West Brom (A)|
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|01 Dec 2013||v Liverpool (H)|