FT: Hull City 0-1 Burnley - Hull suffer survival blow

Burnley's Ashley Barnes heads on target during the Barclays Premier League match at the KC Stadium, Hull.
Burnley's Ashley Barnes heads on target during the Barclays Premier League match at the KC Stadium, Hull.
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HULL CITY’S survival hopes were dealt a potentially fatal blow on a sorry afternoon at the KC Stadium.

Needing a victory to set them up for two tough fixtures against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United to close the campaign, the Tigers slid to a sorry defeat.

Danny Ings netted the all-important strike but it was more the abject nature of the hosts’ performance that condemned Steve Bruce’s men to a defeat that could prove hard to bounce back from.

Newcastle United’s draw at home to West Bromwich Albion means City are two points adrift of safety.

And, on the evidence of this woeful showing, the chances of winning either of those final two fixtures appear slim.

Hull did twice hit the crossbat through free-kicks from Robbie Brady but, in truth, Burnley were full value for the points after standing firm at the back.

The only downside for Sean Dyche’s men was that because of results elsewhere, the club was relegated anyway.

City, meanwhile, could well be heading for a similar fate unless Bruce can inspire a big turnaround at White Hart Lane next weekend.

Sunderland’s victory in the lunchtime kick-off meant City had fallen into the bottom three before even taking to the field.

That could explain why much of their play was scrappy and disjointed, with too many unforced errors for the hosts to put Burnley under pressure.

There was the odd chance early on, such as when Robbie Brady got to the byline and crossed only for Jason Shackell to clear.

Brady also picked out Ahmed Elmohamady with a searching left wing cross but the Egyptian could only head just over.

Paul McShane went even closer with a header from another Brady delivery just after the half-hour

For the Clarets, Ashley Barnes headed over from five yards when found by David Jones’ corner before Steve Harper had to save a Danny Ings header after the highly-rated striker had met a Matthew Taylor cross firmly.

Ings had a strong penalty appeal turned down early in the second half when, after beating James Chester, he looked to be upended by Paul McShane.

Referee Martin Atkinson, though, was having none of it and City were appeal to clear after a scramble that saw Scott Arfield’s shot blocked.

As irate as Burnley were at the decision, the visitors refused to be bowed and they took the lead just after the hour.

With Michael Dawson off the field receiving treatment for a cut, the Tigers were unable to defend a corner.

Elmohamady got his head on the ball but it only hit Brady and Ings swept in from close range.

Bruce’s response was to bring on Abel Hernandez and the £10m club record signing saw a smart back-heel saved by Tom Heaton.

Brady then curled a free-kick against the crossbar for the second time in the afternoon before Stephen Quinn fired straight at Heaton.

Hull had a let-off 14 minutes from time when Ings, after getting in front of Dawson, appeared to be clipped by the former Spurs defender but, again, Atkinson waved play on as the ball ran through to Harper.

It wasn’t, though, a let-off that Hull could capitalise on as they slumped to defeat.