Burnley 0 Hull City 1: Quinn strikes to give Tigers rare win over Clarets

Hull City's Stephen Quinn celebrates scoring against BurnleyHull City's Stephen Quinn celebrates scoring against Burnley
Hull City's Stephen Quinn celebrates scoring against Burnley
TURF MOOR has never been the happiest of hunting grounds for Hull City, as eight defeats from their previous nine visits before last night vividly illustrated.

Even when the Tigers were able to claim a rare victory at Burnley’s home in the final game of the 1983-84 season, supporters were left heartbroken as the club missed out on promotion from Division Three to Sheffield United by the slimmest of margins – just one goal after the two Yorkshire rivals had finished level on points.

Considering this tale of woe over the past three decades, perhaps it was no surprise that the Hull fans who braved a cold Lancashire night to watch their promotion chasing heroes spent much of the game singing – probably as much in hope as anything else – about how ‘Turf Moor is falling down’.

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That antipathy towards one of English football’s oldest grounds may, however, not be quite as strong this morning for those of an amber and black persuasion after a victory that could, come the season’s end, prove to be a pivotal one.

For now, the triumph – claimed courtesy of Stephen Quinn’s second-half goal – is enough to leave Hull two points clear of the chasing pack in the second automatic promotion place.

Leaders Cardiff City are also firmly within Hull’s sights, sitting three points ahead of Steve Bruce’s men – albeit with two games in hand, the first of which is tonight at home to Leicester City.

If the Welsh club are to be caught, there is little doubt the Tigers will have to play better than last night when, for long periods, they struggled for rhythm against a home side so badly out of form that the locals must be glad their team already has 48 points.

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For an hour, Bruce’s intent had seemed to be keeping things tight – perhaps an understandable reaction considering Hull had slumped to four-goal beatings in each of their last two away games, against Bolton Wanderers and Crystal Palace.

However, once the game entered the final half hour, the Hull chief acted decisively to send on Robert Koren and Jay Simpson – a move that paid dividends within a couple of minutes as the pair combined to create a chance for Quinn, who duly settled a dour game with an exquisite finish.

Not that the level of entertainment on offer mattered much to the 356 away fans at the final whistle as they celebrated not only a vital win but also the end of a seven-game losing run against Burnley.

The result, of course, justified the means as the decision to switch Alex Bruce from defence to anchor the centre of midfield did the trick of bringing some much-needed solidity to Hull after three straight defeats on the roads.

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The upshot was goalkeeper David Stockdale being called into action just once during a dull opening 45 minutes, when keeping out a stinging drive from Ross Wallace.

Otherwise, the Clarets were kept largely in check by the visitors with their only other first-half effort of note being Alex Kacaniklic’s shot that went so wide it drew hoots of derision from the away fans.

Of course, a consequence of making the Tigers harder to break down can be the loss of the attacking intent that has characterised much of this season.

That was certainly the case in that first half with the best Hull could offer going forward being an early header from Quinn that went well wide and George Boyd’s shot that was deflected behind by Michael Duff.

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Hull did show more attacking intent after the restart with Quinn and David Meyler both having attempts that, while never in danger of troubling Lee Grant, at least gave Bruce men’s encouragement.

So, too, did a neat move that saw Gedo bring a fine save from Lee Grant after latching on to a delightfully threaded ball from Boyd.

It took, however, a double substitution just after the hour by Tigers manager Bruce to truly spark his side into action.

Koren and Simpson were the two to come off the bench and the pair combined superbly within two minutes to ensure the ball found Quinn. The former Sheffield United midfielder took one touch before drilling an inch-perfect shot from the edge of the area that sneaked in between Grant and his right-hand post.

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Burnley huffed and puffed in an attempt to get back on level terms but never really truly threatened to ruin the Yorkshire side’s night.

Sam Vokes did have a decent chance, but his looping header landed well wide of the post, while Charlie Austin also failed to hit the target with a decent chance in stoppage time.

Those two moments of danger apart, however, Hull were rarely troubled as they saw out the game to end the Indian sign Burnley had held over them in recent years and move back into second place.

Burnley: Grant; Mee, Shackell, Duff, Trippier; Edgar (Bartley 63), McCann; Wallace (Ings 84), Treacy (Vokes 53), Kacaniklic; Austin. Unused substitutes: Jensen,, Paterson, Lafferty, Long.

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Hull City: Stockdale; Chester, Hobbs, McShane; Elmohamady, Meyler, Bruce (Koren 64), Quinn (Rosenior 85), Brady; Boyd, Gedo (Simpson 64). Unused substitutes: Jakupovic, Fathi, Faye, Proschwitz.

Referee: E Ilderton (Tyne & Wear).