Nottingham Forest 1 Hull City 2: McShane’s disputed strike rewards Hull

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Steve Agnew, manager Steve Bruce’s assistant, was delighted with Hull City’s performance and the result that cemented the Tigers’ place in the top six.

He said: “I thought we were good value for the win. The shape of the team was good and we were resolute and tough throughout.

“We feel as though we should be competing at the top end of the division and where we are at the moment is very pleasing. What we have to do is find the consistency we would like to see over a period of time because when we have had a good run of results something has gone wrong.”

There was very little to choose between the sides until the 32nd minute when Forest midfielder Simon Gillett brought down David Meyler as he made his way to the byline. Robert Koren sent Lee Camp the wrong way from the spot.

Forest’s equaliser was equally tame, Alex Bruce tripping Billy Sharp at a time when he was going away from goal. Sharp stepped up to score his fifth goal of the season from the spot.

The controversial incident that settled it came when Koren’s 69th-minute corner went across the face of the Forest goal and was bundled in by Paul McShane.

With the sides locked together, Hull defender McShane forced the ball into the net from close range to give all three points to the visitors.

Nottingham Forest chief Sean O’Driscoll added his voice to the call for football technology as he felt a blatant handball had decided the game between two promotion hopefuls.

O’Driscoll argued: “It’s one for technology.

“It was difficult for the referee, difficult for the linesman, but unless they get somebody behind the goal it will be that way.

“In the time it took for three or four of our players to appeal against it, the fourth official could have been sitting in the stand watching a replay and telling the referee that it was a handball.”

Nottingham Forest: Camp, Hutton, Ward, Collins, Harding, Coppinger, Guedioura, Gillett (McGugan 75), Cohen (Blackstock 75), Reid, Sharp. Unused substitutes: Darlow, Moussi, Findley, Moloney, Lansbury.

Hull City: Stockdale, Bruce, Chester, McShane, Elmohamady, Meyler, Evans, Quinn, Brady (Faye 87), Koren (Rosenior 89), Mclean (Proschwitz 67). Unused substitutes: Jakupovic, McKenna, Simpson, Olofinjana.

Referee: G Ward (Surrey).

Man of the match: Robert Koren.