Stoke City 3 Hull City 1 - Away day blues continue for Tigers but survival hopes remain intact

Stoke City's Peter Crouch scores his side's second goal against Hull City. Picture: Barrington Coombs/PA

Stoke City's Peter Crouch scores his side's second goal against Hull City. Picture: Barrington Coombs/PA

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HULL CITY’S desperate away form continued on an afternoon when respite did, at least, come via relegation rivals Swansea City also losing.

The Tigers crashed to a 14th defeat in their last 15 assignments on the road despite Harry Maguire levelling early in the second half.

At that stage, Hull looked more than capable of ending their away woes only for subsequent goals from Peter Crouch and Xherdan Shaqiri to end Stoke’s four-game losing streak.

Swansea’s loss at Watford did, however, ensure there was no lasting damage to the Yorkshire club’s survival hopes.

Two points still separate the two teams most likely to join doomed duo Middlesbrough and Sunderland in next season’s Championship with five games remaining.

Hull contributed fully to an entertaining contest and created countless chances. But their defending was, at times, woeful and stoke just about deserved the points.

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The biggest surprise at the end of a pulsating first half was that there had been just one goal.

Marko Arnautivic was the man who broke the deadlock but, in reality, the Australian should have had a hat-trick.

His opener came on six minutes, a neat pass from Xherrdan Shaqiri finding the Stoke man on the edge of the area. Michael dawson was then beaten with ease by Arnautovic, who while holding off Harry Maguire, thumped a shot into the net off the underside of the bar.

The same combination opened up Hull just four minutes later but this Arnautovic volleyed over from eight yards.

Hull City manager Marco Silva

Hull City manager Marco Silva

Arnautovic was similarly wasteful ten minutes before the break, his dragged shot wide wasting a fine pass from Glen Johnson.

Saido Berahino did the ball in the net but an offside flag cut short his celebrations.

Hull also had chances, Oumar Niasse wasting the best when unable to connnect with a Lazar Markovic cross.

Markovic alsoi brought a decent save from Lee Grant, while Harry Maguire fired over from inside the six-yard box after the Potters had been unable to clear a corner.

Six minutes after the restart, Maguire made amends for that miss by firing in at the far post after Stoke had been unable to clear a Sam Clucas cross that followed a short corner.

Play continued to rage from one end to the other but it was Stoke who went ahead midway through the second half.

A sweeping move saw play spread to Jonathan Walters on the left and he crossed for Peter Crouch to head in at the far post.

The Tigers came close to a quick reply but Kamil Grosicki was denied by a fine save from Lee Grant when played through, Bruno Martins Indi then clearing ahead of Niasse.

Shaqiri then ended any hopes of a comeback with a ferocious 25 yard drive that gave Jakupovic no chance in the visitors’ goal.

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