Match Analysis: Hull City 2-0 West Bromwich Albion

Shane Long of Hull City scores the second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and West Bromwich Albion at the KC Stadium on March 22, 2014
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Sports Mole analyses the Premier League match between Hull City and West Bromwich Albion.

Hull City have moved eight points clear of the Premier League relegation zone after recording a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.

The Tigers took the lead on 32 minutes when Liam Rosenior headed home after a Nikica Jelavic had been saved by Ben Foster, and that advantage was doubled six minutes later through Baggies old boy Shane Long.

The second half was a one-sided affair in which Hull came close to extending their lead on several occasions, but manager Steve Bruce will be delighted to see his side extend the gap between themselves and the bottom three.

Below, Sports Mole assesses whether Hull were deserving of the three points at the KC Stadium.

Match statistics

Hull City
Shots: 12
On target: 5
Possession: 43%
Corners: 4
Fouls: 18

West Bromwich Albion
Shots: 17
On target: 4
Possession: 57%
Corners: 5
Fouls: 13

Was the result fair?

The first half was evenly contested and West Brom could consider themselves hard done by to be two goals behind. However, the Baggies offered nothing after the break, with Hull looking likely to extend their advantage. A third never materialised for the Tigers, but at this stage of the season, it's points on the board that matter and they have all but secured their Premier League status with this win.

Hull City's performance

The home side allowed West Bromwich Albion some joy during the opening exchanges but after they had managed to come through the opening 30 minutes unscathed, they looked in control. They were somewhat fortuitous to earn the penalty that resulted in their first goal, but their second was of their own doing after a fantastic finish from Shane Long. Long was unfortunate not to add to his third goal for the club, but his man-of-the-match display tipped the result in his side's favour.

West Bromwich Albion's performance

After coming from behind to beat Swansea City last weekend, manager Pepe Mel would have been confident that his side could make it two wins in a row against Hull, but despite an encouraging start, they offered little ambition in trying to claw their way back into the match. The Baggies remain three points clear of relegation, but that is down to the poor results of their rivals rather than West Brom earning their place above the drop zone.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Shane Long: All the talk before the game was about Long, who was making his first appearance against his former club since leaving The Hawthorns in January, and although he was lucky to win a penalty for his side, his other contributions were first class, and his finish for the second goal was from a man who was relishing the opportunity of regular action with his new team. The striker was forced off with an injury with 13 minutes remaining, and Steve Bruce will be hoping that it doesn't keep him on the sidelines for a significant amount of time.

Biggest gaffe

The biggest gaffe was undoubtedly Chris Foy's decision to hand a penalty to Hull. It looked as though Shane Long tripped over his own feet to earn the spot kick, but Foy had little hesitation in blowing his whistle. It was a decision that ultimately swung the game in Hull's favour.

Referee performance

As stated above, Foy's decision to award a penalty to Hull will overshadow what was otherwise a solid performance at the KC Stadium. However, he is sure to face criticism for that one decision in what is his second time in the spotlight in the space of seven days.

What next?

Hull City: The Tigers will hope to build on this win when they make back-to-back away trips to West Ham United and Stoke City respectively.

West Bromwich Albion: West Brom face a huge encounter with Cardiff City next weekend before making the long journey to Norwich City.

Shane Long of Hull City scores the second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and West Bromwich Albion at the KC Stadium on March 22, 2014
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