Bruce’s Hull City men remain in drop battle

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NEWCASTLE had started the day well with Yoan Gouffran taking aim with a strike from 20 yards that drew a dive from McGregor but was always drifting wide in the fourth minute.

Hull’s first foray into the opponents’ half nearly ended in a goal when Tom Huddlestone’s free-kick found Alex Bruce at the back post but his header from point-blank range was somehow kept out by Tim Krul, who then denied the Hull defender a second time.

And Hull’s frustration was doubled within 30 seconds as Newcastle broke quickly, the ball eventually coming to Mathieu Debuchy down the right whose low pull-back was met with a sweet first-time effort from Moussa Sissoko beyond the helpless Alan McGregor.

Hull took time to respond but almost pulled level with 25 minutes gone, Ahmed Elmohamady’s cross picking out Nikica Jelavic at the near post but the former Everton striker’s header went just wide.

Hull very nearly had an equaliser in the 36th minute when Shane Long did well to draw a foul 20 yards from goal, rolling away from his marker before being brought to ground. Jelavic stood over the set-piece but saw his effort come back off the crossbar.

The hosts’ first-half frustrations continued as Huddlestone’s fine ball down the channel was collected by Long, who twisted his man to create space before delivering a deep cross to the back post where Elmohamady headed wastefully wide.

And Hull’s combination of ill-fortune and wastefulness in front of goal bit them again three minutes from the break when Maynor Figueroa inexplicably under-hit a backpass which was seized upon by Loic Remy, who rounded McGregor before slotting into an empty net.

Hull needed a speedy response at the start of the second half and that is exactly what they got as they immediately pulled one back. Huddlestone’s free-kick was delivered into a crowd of players on the edge of the six-yard box, with Curtis Davies hanging in the air and nodding beyond Krul who got a fist to the ball but could not keep it out.

Yet Hull’s hopes of a successful fightback were dashed within moments, a loose touch by Huddlestone in midfield inviting Sissoko to lead the breakaway. His pass picked out Gouffran who drilled a low shot that was only parried by McGregor, and it was Sissoko, smartly continuing his forward run, who lapped up the rebound.

Hull struggled to mount a response in what time remained and Newcastle saw Remy and Gouffran both go close to adding to the scoring before Anita added the gloss with a fourth in injury time.

Hull: McGregor, Elmohamady, Davies (Chester 86), Bruce, Figueroa (Koren 62), Rosenior, Livermore (Aluko 62), Huddlestone, Meyler, Jelavic, Long. Subs Not Used: Boyd, Sagbo, Harper, Quinn. Booked: Jelavic, Meyler, Huddlestone. Goals: Davies 46.

Newcastle: Krul, Debuchy, Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Dummett, Sissoko, Tiote, Anita, Gouffran, De Jong (Gosling 90), Remy. Subs Not Used: Cisse, Haidara, Marveaux, Shola Ameobi, Steven Taylor, Alnwick. Booked: Tiote, Yanga-Mbiwa. Goals: Sissoko 10, Remy 42, Sissoko 55, Anita 90.

Att: 24,903 Ref: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire).