Top flight Tigers tilt the Owls
Written By: Robert Halter
In the tenth Championship play off final to be played at the new Wembley end of May, Hull City aimed to return back to the Premier League after just one season away at the expense of Sheffield Wednesday. After collecting a pass from Jake Livermore, a snap shot by the Tigers Tom Huddlestone in the opening four minutes was spilled by the Owls goalkeeping watchman, Keiren Westwood. After Tigers captain, Michael Dawson, was booked for hacking down Fernando Forestieri, Hull’s stand in keeper, Eldin Jakupovic, was forced to punch over a free kick on the left by Forestieri, in the tenth minute. On the quarter of the hour mark, when Mo Diame pushed Sam Hutchinson, a free kick from Ross Wallace, was driven over the wall and at full stretch, Jakupovic, turned the ball away from the bottom right hand corner. After mishandling by Westwood presented Hull with a corner, the ball over from Robert Snodgrass was headed on by Abel Hernandez and as Kieran Lee had to chest the ball from the line there was an appeal for handball when Lee again protected the right side of the goal, as Dawson’s left footed shot went close but missed to the left following a corner. Three minutes later, the Tigers prowled again, as Diame’s over the top delivery, deflected off the Owls captain, Glen Loovens and as Hernandez broke free, it took the arm of Westwood to block his shot. Hull further threatened in the thirty fifth minute, as Ahmed Elmohamady set up Moses Odubajo, who struck an effort wide of the mark from long distance. Then in the thirty ninth minute, the frame of the goal denied the Tigers, as after collecting a pass from Livermore, Diame sent his strike crashing against the left post. In the next five minutes, Elmohamady cleared the way for Moses and it took the intervention of Westwood, to avert the danger with his outstretched leg. Before the first half drew to a close, from Wallace’s corner, Tom Lees headed the ball into the clutches of Jakupovic, as the Owls returned to the attacking fold. In the fifty third minute, from a delivery by Snodgrass, the ball fell to Dawson, whose first time shot was stopped by a body block from Westwood. But within four minutes, Andy Robertson failed to capitalise on a well placed ball from Odubajo, as he blazed his shot over the upright. The Owls responded on fifty nine minutes, as from a pass by Forestieri, it allowed Sam Hutchinson to stroll forward, before his strike went high and wide. In the first change by Sheffield Wednesday, Wallace was removed for Jeremy Helan. But it was the Tigers that drew first blood on seventy two minutes, as Snodgrass laid the ball off to Diame, and the man for the big occasion, bent the ball into the top right hand corner of the goal. The Owls soon brought on Atdhe Nuhiu for Hutchinson. On seventy nine minutes, from a ball across by Huddlestone, a strike from Odubajo, was miscued when in range of the target. Hull then changed Snodgrass with Sam Clucas before bringing on David Meyler for Hernandez, while the Owls replaced Daniel Pudil with Lucas Joao. A head clash between Jakupovic and Nuhiu, left the Tigers keeper requiring minor treatment. The Owls rallied late first as Joao’s shot looked to have struck the hand of Livermore, and then from Lee’s ball over, Helan fired wide, as Hull City held on to win the Championship play off final to become the twentieth club to achieve promotion to the top tier of English football after being relegated the previous season.