Hull City 2 Rochdale 0: Routine win lifts Tigers up to second in the table

Hull City climbed back into League One's automatic promotion places courtesy of a comfortable victory over Rochdale on Tuesday night.

Mallik Wilks handed Hull City a half-time lead in Tuesday night's League Two clash with Rochdale. Picture: Getty Images
Mallik Wilks handed Hull City a half-time lead in Tuesday night's League Two clash with Rochdale. Picture: Getty Images

The combination of their 2-0 success at the KCOM Stadium and a home defeat for Lincoln saw Grant McCann's team leapfrog the Imps and move within three points of top-of-the-table Peterborough United.

The Tigers enjoyed the lion's share of possession during the opening exchanges, patiently probing away without ever really managing to trouble an organised Dale back-line.

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It took until the 20th minute for Keane Lewis-Potter to force Gavin Bazunu into action, the visiting gloveman making a routine save from the City youngster's curling edge-of-the-box strike.

Four minutes later, Bazunu was however beaten after Mallik Wilks cut inside off the right flank, danced past three defenders and planted a low 25-yard finish just inside the near post.

Clearly in the mood, Wilks continued to light up proceedings with some delightful footwork as the hosts went in search of a second of the evening.

They engineered a number of promising situations without managing to really worry their visitors, who remained very much in the contest as they passed the ball crisply through the thirds.

The closest Brian Barry-Murphy's men came to a leveller was a Stephen Humphrys effort from distance that was deflected over the cross-bar and, although they persisted with there tidy brand of football after the break, it was Hull who carried the greater threat.

Bazunu was quickly off his line to thwart Callum Elder when George Honeyman threaded a lovely pass through the eye of a needle, before Wilks blazed high and wide.

A second goal would however arrive on 69 minutes, Lewie Coyle's right-wing cross to the near post diverted over the line by the combination of substitute Tom Eaves and a Dale defender.

Things then got even worse for the away side when Connor Shaughnessy was shown a straight red card for a lunge in midfield, and although Wilks failed to finish off two good City opportunities late on, the damage had already been done.

Hull City: Ingram; Coyle, Burke, Greaves, Elder; Docherty (Crowley 86), Jones (Slater 82), Honeyman; Wilks, Lewis-Potter (Scott 82), Whyte (Eaves 67). Unused substitutes: Long, Emmanuel, McLoughlin.

Rochdale: Bazunu; McLaughlin, Osho, McShane (Baah 75), Keohane (Done 88); Newby (McNulty 82), Shaughnessy, O'Connell, Morley; Grant, Humphrys. Unused substitutes: Lynch, Roberts, Hopper, Odoh.

Referee: J Bell (Sheffield).