Hull City 2 Charlton Athletic 0: Tigers overcome Covid-19 issues to dispatch Addicks

Hull City's Covid-19 issues failed to prevent them moving up to second place in the League Once standings following a comfortable home success over Charlton Athletic.

Hakeeb Adelakun struck from close range to give Hull City a first-half lead against Charlton Athletic. Pictures: Getty Images
Hakeeb Adelakun struck from close range to give Hull City a first-half lead against Charlton Athletic. Pictures: Getty Images

Missing a trio of players who almost certainly would have started Saturday's contest, Grant McCann's men still had more than enough in their locker to see off the Addicks on a freezing cold afternoon, ending a run of four games without a victory.

Hakeeb Adelakun's 18th-minute opener was added to by Greg Docherty after the break, though the Tigers could conceivably have won by a significantly greater margin.

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Deprived of the services of forwards Josh Magennis and James Scott as well as defensive duo Reece Burke and Callum Elder, City's back-four had a distinctly inexperienced look about it.

Greg Docherty bagged the Tigers' second goal of the afternoon.

With 23-year-old Josh Emmanuel the elder statesmen of that rather youthful defence, few would have predicted Hull recording a much-needed clean-sheet against their free-scoring visitors.

But, a back-line comprising 20-year old Jacob Greaves and fringe players Alfie Jones and Brandon Fleming rose to the task, leaving home custodian George Long a virtual spectator.

At the other end of the field, the Tigers caused Charlton plenty of problems and, were it not for a couple of wasteful moments from Tom Eaves, would have been out of sight by half-time.

Following an uneventful opening quarter of an hour, City got their noses in front from their first attack of any note.

Greaves met a Charlton clearance near halfway and played the ball into the path of Mallik Wilks, who drove down the left before drilling a low centre across the six-yard-box.

A kind deflection diverted the ball into the path of the unmarked Adelakun, and the Bristol City loanee made no mistake at the far post.

Wilks then tested Ben Amos with a strike of his own, before a clever free-kick routine saw George Honeyman pick out Eaves with a superb delivery from the left, only for the big striker to make a mess of the finish and direct a tame header straight into the arms of the grateful Addicks goalkeeper.

Charlton's best chance of the contest came and went on 33 minutes, Omar Bogle missing his kick in an extremely dangerous area after a corner kick dropped invitingly for him.

George Long then had to make a decent stop to keep out Jake Forster-Caskey's free-kick, however that was about as good as it would get for the South-Londoners.

A second opportunity for Eaves to double the home advantage was then spurned in first-half stoppage time, the City number nine blazing a wild first-time strike over the cross-bar after Richie Smallwood's header sent him through on Amos' goal.

Charlton began the second period on the front foot, but despite them getting into some promising positions, they were unable to really open Hull up.

The Addicks had however certainly engineered a foothold in the game by the 63rd-minute, only to then see experienced defender Darren Pratley sent off by referee Martin Coy on the advice of his linesman following an off-the-ball kick in the direction of Wilks.

From that point on, the contest was a breeze for City as they used their numerical advantage to good effect, moving the ball around nicely before wrapping things up 15 minutes from time.

Wilks nodded substitute Keane Lewis-Potter's right-wing cross against the woodwork before Honeyman's classy back-heel teed-up Docherty to plant a clinical finish into the roof of the net.

Content with a two-goal cushion, the closing stages saw the Tigers happy to stroke the ball around the park, Thomas Mayer almost adding a third with a free-kick into the side-netting, though the damage had already been done.

Hull City: Long; Emmanuel, Jones, Greaves, Fleming; Honeyman (Slater 78), Smallwood (Batty 84), Docherty; Adelakun (Mayer 78), Eaves (Lewis-Potter 70), Wilks. Unused substitutes: Ingram, Coyle, McLoughlin.

Charlton Athletic: Amos; Gunter, Pratley, Pearce, Matthews; Maatsen, Watson (Gilbey 10), Forster-Caskey, Morgan (Williams 61); Washington, Bogle (Smyth 46). Unused substitutes: Maynard-Brewer, Purrington, Oshilaja, Maddison.

Referee: M Coy (Durham).