Stoke pick up vital win at play-off chasing Hull

by 24britishtvMarch 29, 2024, 7 p.m. 18
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Last updated on .From the section Championship

Stoke City moved five points above the Championship relegation zone with an impressive victory at play-off chasing Hull City.

The defeat damaged Hull's hopes of reviving their push for a play-off place and they are now winless in five matches and six points outside the top six.

Liam Rosenior's Tigers failed to get going against a solid, hard-working Stoke outfit who deserved their win.

Ninth-placed Hull went into the game badly needing three points after four straight draws had seen teams above them pull away, while Stoke are among a cluster of sides battling relegation.

Buoyed by their win at Preston in their last away trip, Stoke had the better of an uneventful first half with Sead Haksabanovic firing over the bar after Ryan Mmaee - picked to start for the first time since January - had a shot blocked as Stoke players appealed for handball.

Hull were strangely subdued, with Noah Ohio almost getting on the end of Jaden Philogene's cross in a rare first-half opportunity.

Stoke's Enda Stevens kept dangerman Philogene quiet but Steven Schumacher's men, despite having the edge in the game, lacked a cutting edge in open play.

Ohio headed wide and Philogene dragged a shot off target as Hull perked up a little, but Stoke struck from a corner with 20 minutes left, in front of their own fans.

A corner was flicked on by Mmaee and Laurent finished at the far post to put the Potters ahead.

Hull tried to rally but looked more like conceding again as Ryan Allsop's save denied Mehdi Leris and Andre Vidigal's control let him down when presented with another chance.

Wolves loanee Hoever settled Stoke nerves in the third minute of added time, his shot deflecting past Allsop to make sure of the three points.

The win lifts Stoke to 17th, while Hull are now six points adrift of sixth-placed Norwich, but do have a game in hand.

"I feel flat, so disappointed, not just in the outcome but in our performance. There was no energy, no thrust to our play and when you don't play to your level it's important you don't concede goals like we did out there.

"The first goal is crucial to any game. Stoke bombarded our left side of the pitch aerially and we have to deal with that, it's basic football. From the corner we didn't mark the first one, didn't mark the second one and then you're chasing the game.

"I put two out-and-out strikers on the pitch and gambled, and we conceded a second. It's happening too often, I'd be crazy to say anything else.

"It's still achievable, it's not over with eight games left to play but we have to perform better than that to get close to it."

"It was probably as complete a performance as we've had since we've been here. We were excellent from the first minute and probably the better team, although they had a spell just after half-time where they started quite brightly.

"We weathered that storm and came back into it, getting the goals at an important time so it was a brilliant performance and a huge three points.

"We've had a lot of time to think about Hull and to prepare for it, and the way we bought into the game plan and committed ourselves to everything - every challenge, every second ball - we were on it, and we passed it well as well."

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