QPR 0 Hull City 1: Snodgrass blow as Chester gets Tigers off to triumphant start

Hull City's Stephen Quinn celebrates with scorer James Chester, right
Hull City's Stephen Quinn celebrates with scorer James Chester, right
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HULL city chief Steve Bruce is expected to learn today the extent of the injury suffered by Robert Snodgrass in the opening day victory at Loftus Road.

The £6m signing could be a long-term absentee after he suffered a knee injury in the win at promoted QPR.

The Scotland winger, 26, who joined from relegated Norwich City in the summer, came off at half-time with the knock.

Former Leeds United player Snodgrass scored seven goals in 34 appearances last season as the Canaries were relegated.

Bruce admitted: “Snodgrass is a concern. He’s twisted his knee. He’s in a brace and crutches at the moment – touch wood, he’s not too bad but we fear ligament damage and if it is, it’ll obviously be a long time before he is back.”

James Chester’s second-half header gave Hull this victory.

Rangers were handed a golden opportunity to salvage a draw in the 84th minute when referee Craig Pawson awarded the hosts a penalty, but Charlie Austin’s effort was saved by Allan McGregor.

Bruce was disappointed with Pawson’s decision and believes the rule regarding handball needs to be clarified.

“The referees have got to get together and realise they’re making a mockery of it – it’s supposed to be deliberate,” he said.

“Chester had got his hand by his side, the ball was a yard away and probably travelling at 50 miles per hour – what is he supposed to do?

“We need to stop all this nonsense and have a bit of common sense.”

QPR enjoyed the majority of possession during the contest, but were ultimately made to pay the price for a lack of cutting edge.

Instead, it was Chester, who began his career with Manchester United, who made the decisive contribution.

He shook off former Red Devils and Leeds centre-half Rio Ferdinand to head home a corner early in the second half and earn the Tigers their first win at Loftus Road since 1963.

Loic Remy, who could have been wearing the red of Liverpool had he not failed a medical earlier this summer, was the home side’s greatest threat but Hull’s well-organised defensive trio did enough to keep the Frenchman at bay.

Hull enjoyed the better of the opening period, but the hosts established a foothold and were almost gifted a breakthrough when McGregor failed to shepherd the ball out of play for a goal-kick and Austin stole possession out wide.

The striker could have tried a long-range shot into the open net but instead he teed up Jordon Mutch at the back post, who missed the ball.

Just before the half-hour mark, Remy earned a free-kick on the edge of the area which Joey Barton clipped into the side-netting, and moments later he again broke free to find Mutch, who headed narrowly wide.

QPR continued to look the more likely scorers and almost broke the deadlock before half-time as Steven Caulker’s header was cleared off the line by 
Andrew Robertson.

The home side started the second half brightly but it was Hull who grabbed the opener in the 52nd minute when Chester out-muscled Ferdinand at a corner and headed home Hull’s first goal of the season.

Rangers responded positively to going behind but, for all their possession and forward-running, were unable to carve out a decisive chance.

Instead, it was the visitors who should have doubled their lead when Tom Ince was put through on the counter-attack, but the 22-year-old’s tame finish was blocked by the legs of Rob Green.

Harry Redknapp threw on Junior Hoilett, Bobby Zamora and Matt Phillips in the latter stages in search of an equaliser, and it was Hoilett who earned his side the spot-kick when his cross was adjudged to have struck the hand of Chester six minutes from time.

Austin stepped up and fired low to McGregor’s right, but the Hull goalkeeper read the shot and palmed the ball away.

Zamora and Remy both had chances to equalise in the final moments, but the former took too long and the latter was denied by McGregor as Hull held on.

Queens Park Rangers: Green, Caulker, Ferdinand, Dunne (Zamora 78), Simpson (Phillips 68), Faurlin (Hoilett 69), Mutch, Barton, Traore, Remy, Austin. Unused substitutes: Hill, Onuoha, Henry, Murphy.

Hull City: McGregor, Chester, Bruce (McShane 46), Davies, Elmohamady, Huddlestone, Livermore, Robertson, Ince (Meyler 82), Snodgrass (Quinn 40), Jelavic. Unused substitutes: Figueroa, Brady, Harper, Aluko.

Referee: C Pawson (South Yorkshire).

Man of the match: Allan McGregor.