Hull City 1 Watford 2: Wesley Hoedt’s stunning strike from halfway line sinks Tigers

Wesley Hoedt’s stunning long-range winner maintained Watford’s promising run of form with a 2-1 victory at Hull City.

The Hornets captain nicked possession off Liam Delap just inside Hull’s half before executing a perfect lob over Ryan Allsop after 74 minutes.

Hoedt ran the length of the pitch to celebrate with the away fans following a goal which evoked memories of David Beckham’s famous strike against Wimbledon.

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Hull were left to reflect upon what might have been, however, after Jaden Philogene missed a penalty on the hour.

Wesley Hoedt scored a stunner for Watford. Image: Paul Harding/Getty ImagesWesley Hoedt scored a stunner for Watford. Image: Paul Harding/Getty Images
Wesley Hoedt scored a stunner for Watford. Image: Paul Harding/Getty Images

Liam Rosenior’s men had the better chances but Watford, who have lost just once in nine, arguably deserved at least a point on effort alone.

They also opened the scoring after eight minutes through Edo Kayembe.

Scott Twine equalised two minutes later during a breathless game which ebbed and flowed.

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But no-one inside the MKM Stadium could possibly have anticipated Hoedt’s incredulous intervention in the second half.

The hosts had won their last three home games and, unsurprisingly, began brightly.

But Watford soon grew into the match – especially on Hull’s left flank, down which the visitors sensed a defensive weakness.

Ken Sema firstly had some joy when he slung over a ball that was not dealt with by Jean Michael Seri. Ismael Kone picked up the pieces but fired over the crossbar.

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Having seemingly ignored the warning signs, Hull conceded in similar circumstances two minutes later.

Jamal Lewis this time crossed towards a central area, from where Kayembe swept home on his 50th appearance for Watford. Allsop was unsighted, but he might have done better as the ball was straight down the middle of the goal.

Hull’s response was swift and decisive. Delap’s lung-busting run from deep was stopped by Hoedt inside Watford’s penalty box but the rebound fell to an onrushing Twine, who skilfully arrowed the ball into the bottom-right corner.

Delap was also heavily involved after 22 minutes when a similar run led to Philogene receiving the ball on the left.

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Philogene cut inside before arching a lovely goalbound hit that was well tipped over by Hamer.

Allsop bettered that save just before half-time when he showed smart awareness to scoop Kone’s precise curler around the right post.

By contrast to what preceded it, the opening to the second half was largely uneventful.

That was until Jake Livermore, who made 90 appearance for Hull between 2014-17, upended Jacob Greaves following Jason Lokilo’s corner.

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It was a clear penalty, but Philogene’s spot-kick was weak and well saved by Hamer low to his right.

Delap came close soon afterwards, while Philogene nearly atoned for his miss when he screwed just wide.

Yet Watford remained a niggling threat on the break and left East Yorkshire with three points following Hoedt’s jaw-dropping winner.

Hull boss Rosenior said: “I’ve never in my playing career and coaching/managerial career had a feeling like this. If we’d have drawn, I’d have been disappointed. I don’t know what to say. I thought we were by far the better team, but they scored an absolute miracle goal – the lad nicks it and hits an absolute wonder strike.

“It’s not a crisis. That’s an outstanding performance. On another day we maybe win it by two, three or four. I can’t fault the players and I want them to stay positive.”

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