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Cottagers undo themselves

last updated Saturday 16th August 2008, 5:31 PM
Hull 2-1 Fulham: Cottagers undo themselves
Seol Ki-Hyeon
Seol Ki-Hyeon gets
first goal of the season
Substitute Caleb Folan hit a late winner as Hull came from behind to claim a thrilling 2-1 victory over Fulham in their first ever match in the top flight of English football.

The hosts fell behind to Seol Ki-Hyeon's header after eight minutes, but hit back with a stunning Geovanni equaliser half way through the first half.

Then, with nine minutes remaining, Craig Fagan robbed Paul Konchesky and set up Folan to secure the points.

Fulham, who won their last three away games of last season to stay up, created the first opportunity after Seol out-sprinted Michael Turner on the left, but Simon Davies was unable to convert the cross.

Then Hull powered forward and came desperately close to taking the lead.

Richard Garcia headed Andy Dawson's left flank centre across goal, but debutant Mark Schwarzer produced a superb save to claw away Geovanni's goalbound header. Schwarzer then recovered well to scramble clear Ian Ashbee's follow-up.

However, Fulham took advantage of some poor defending to open the scoring.

Jimmy Bullard was given plenty of time to cross from the right wing, and Seol burst into the penalty area to beat Bo Myhill with an angled header into the bottom left corner.

The goal knocked the stuffing out of Hull and Davies came close to adding a second when his drive from 15 yards deflected over the bar.

Match Stats Hull Fulham
Goals 2 1
Possession 44% 56%
Goal attempts 12 15
On Target 5 3
Corners 5 6
Off-sides 8 5
Saves 2 3
Fouls 10 10
Yellows 3 0
Reds 0 0
source: Soccernet
From the resulting corner Bullard's delivery was fired just over by John Pantsil and from another corner moments later Davies' acrobatic volley flew just wide as Fulham began to dominate.

However, out of nowhere Hull levelled the score with a magnificent strike from Geovanni.

The Brazilian, who joined from Manchester City on a free transfer in the summer, cut inside from the right flank and curled a tremendous left-footed shot into the left corner from 20 yards.

Hull were gaining confidence on the ball and Nick Barmby came close with a header following a deep Sam Ricketts cross late on in the half.

Zoltan Gera wasted an excellent opportunity within two minutes of the restart when he beat the offside trap, but scuffed the ball harmlessly wide from 10 yards.

Hull responded, though, and Turner headed Dawson's corner a yard over the crossbar.

Geovanni then missed a glorious chance to give the home side the lead when he sliced wide from six yards after latching onto Barmby's cross.

It was Barmby's last contribution as he was replaced by Peter Halmosi.

Fulham, who had offered little in attack since the break, suddenly woke up and George Boateng had to be alert to block a shot from Bullard.

However, Hull continued to look the more likely to score and Garcia forced Schwarzer into a fine low save after good work by Halmosi on the left.

Hull boss Phil Brown then used up all of his remaining substitutions, bringing on Folan and Fagan for Marlon King and Garcia respectively.

Two of the replacements then combined to give Hull the lead.

Fagan robbed the hesitant Konchesky near the byline, and unselfishly squared for Folan to slide the ball into an empty net.

In the closing stages Hull found themselves down to 10 men after Boateng hobbled off injured.

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson introduced Leon Andreasen and Erik Nevland, but the hosts survived a nervous five minutes of added time to claim the points.

Hull boss Phil Brown:
"The spirit of the club was there for everybody to see today, the fitness levels in the second half were incredible.

"Before the game we said that Fulham didn't travel well last season and we tried to exploit their weaknesses.

"I'm happy because there weren't too many times last season we came from behind to win."

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson refuses to blame Paul Konchesky for his mistake:
"He made the sort of error he rarely makes and he understands he didn't do the right thing in the situation.

"In the second half Hull used the long ball game and it disturbed our rhythm and we got sucked into that level.

"That's no complaint towards Hull, but it meant we weren't able to give the ball to our midfield players."

Hull: Myhill, Ricketts, Turner, Anthony Gardner, Dawson, Garcia (Fagan 74), Ashbee, Boateng, Barmby (Halmosi 62), Geovanni, King (Folan 70).
Subs Not Used: Duke, Windass, Mendy, Marney.

Booked: Ricketts, Dawson, Fagan.

Goals: Geovanni 22, Folan 81.

Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky, Davies, Murphy (Andreasen 85), Ki-Hyeon (Nevland 85), Bullard, Gera, Zamora (Dempsey 81).
Subs Not Used: Zuberbuhler, Teymourian, Stoor, Kallio.

Goals: Ki-Hyeon 8.

Att: 24,525

Ref: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire).

Source soccernet
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