Høll - WBA 2-2 (1-0) 08/09

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Hull City and West Brom had to settle for a point each after a scrappy but lively affair at the KC Stadium.

Hull took a deserved lead with Bernard Mendy out-sprinting the defence after a long punt from Ian Ashbee before rounding Scott Carson and poking in.

Jay Simpson grabbed the equaliser after good work from James Morrison, but Hull struck back with a Craig Fagan header.

Kamil Zayatte hacked down Robert Koren in the box and Chris Brunt blasted in under Matt Duke to secure the draw.

Both managers revealed during the week that this was a match they could not afford to lose with West Brom at the foot of the Premier League and Hull with just one win in 14 league games before Saturday.

Avoiding a seventh successive league defeat was clearly uppermost in Hull boss Phil Brown's mind, packing the midfield and starting Fagan up front, with Geovanni and Manucho dropped to the bench.

Despite the Premier League's two most leaky defences on show, a goal seemed to be the last thing likely to happen in the opening exchanges, with few clear-cut chances to cheer about.

The opening 20 minutes seemed to involve a competition to see who could shoot the furthest away from the target. Hull's Fagan and West Brom's Morrison the two most guilty of poor efforts.

Simpson made a hash of West Brom's first chance after he blazed a volley over the bar, but Hull were looking lively and hungry and had an opportunity to take the lead on the half hour.

Kevin Kilbane, making his 450th career league appearance on the eve of his 32nd birthday, crossed from the left, but the unmarked Richard Garcia's header went flying over the target.

With many of the home supporters leaving their seats for a half-time hot beverage, they would have been stunned to see their side grab a fully deserved goal.

As soon as the ball fell to Ashbee in the middle of the park, Mendy, starting his run on the right wing, seemed to instinctively know where the looping through-ball was heading.

The Baggies defence looked shocked as the lightning-quick Mendy was soon rounding Carson and poking the ball into the net to send the majority of the stadium into a state of delirium.

Hull looked determined to add to their one goal after the break with Mendy and Fagan linking up well with Dean Marney denied by the arms of Carson.

A Garcia shot and a Michael Turner header continued to keep Carson busy, but then West Brom struck.

Perhaps doing very little for 52 minutes had caused the Hull defence to fall asleep, but after struggling to get the ball away they stood back and watched Morrison twisting dangerously into the area.

The ball fell to Simpson who crashed the ball into the net past Duke for a hugely undeserved equaliser.

The Tigers wobbled for a few minutes, but they did not have to wait long before grabbing the lead again.

Mendy powered down the right and crossed in for Fagan to place his header past the diving Carson.

The second half was a complete transformation with both teams being less cautious and West Brom were level within three minutes of falling behind.

After Duke saved from Marc-Antoine Fortune, Zayatte hacked down Koren to give away a clear penalty and Brunt despatched comfortably.

The visitors looked the most likely to grab the winner as Hull reverted to their early cautious approach, but both teams had to settle for the single point.

Although Hull avoided another loss, Brown will be thinking this is two points dropped.


Hull boss Phil Brown:
"We all want to win games and we put enough energy and effort in today to win it.

"The game plan was to get ahead. It made for a good spectacle. We did everything we possibly could and we came up against a very good keeper."

West Brom manager Tony Mowbray:
"The second half livened up and we chased the game and we showed great determination and character.

"We have found points away from home very hard to get this season so we'll take this one. Jay Simpson works hard and got his rewards today."


Hull: Duke, Ricketts, Turner, Zayatte, Dawson, Mendy, Garcia (Folan 81), Ashbee, Marney, Kilbane, Fagan.

Subs Not Used: Myhill, Doyle, Geovanni, Hughes, France, Manucho.

Booked: Dawson, Mendy.

Goals: Mendy 44, Fagan 69.

West Brom: Carson, Zuiverloon, Donk, Meite, Robinson, Morrison (Kim 76), Koren, Borja Valero (Pele 88), Brunt, Fortune (Bednar 75), Simpson.

Subs Not Used: Kiely, Hoefkens, Cech, Filipe Teixeira.

Booked: Robinson, Meite, Morrison, Zuiverloon.

Goals: Simpson 53, Brunt 73 pen.

Att: 24,879

Ref: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire)