Meek Hull City quietly slip into relegation zone with defeat to Charlton Atheltic

After 67 minutes, the recently-introduced Josh Magennis burst into rage.

RETURN: Hull City and Charlton Athletic players warm up at an empty KCOM Stadium

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“F***ing keep it! F***ing get back out!” he raged as Hull City gave the ball away.

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It was unusual because for most of the afternoon, little had been heard from the Tigers as they quietly slipped into the relegation zone with a 1-0 defeat at home to Charlton Athletic.

Having lost their two goalscorers in January, Hull lost their captain and vice-captain this week. It was cruel, then, to ask them to play a massive game of the season on their return from 105 days without competitive football.

Charlton had their problems too, top-scorer Lyle Taylor the most high-profile of the three players who turned down contract extensions to see out the season, but on this showing they look better equipped to avoid relegation. It is very early in the resumption, but there is little time to waste.

With seven changes to their last line-up – Charlton made five – this was a real opportunity for Hull to reset after a dismal spring, and Middlesbrough's capitulation in the early kick-off provided further encouragement to both sides. It was the Addicks who made the most of it, moving above three Yorkshire sides.

This season has been about absent friends for the Tigers, and the loss of Eric Lichaj and Jackson Irvine was keenly felt. A spark from the bench by Marcus Maddison would not have gone amiss either. Stephen Kingsley too turned down a new contract and Mallik Wilks, the best player of the first half will be gone too.

This was not the spirit of Tigers fighting back in adversity, but wounded beasts licking their wounds.

The start had been deceptively quick, Jon Toral having a shot smothered for a corner he back-flicked a header just wide from.

Missed chances at both ends would be a theme, but there were more for the Addicks.

If the finishing was rusty, the early crossing was a bit wonky too. That Wilks was an exception to that rule, only rubbed salt into the wound. This was the penultimate game of this loan spell at Hull, Barnsley unwilling to let him stay any longer with a relegation rival, despite their coach Gerhard Struber not rating him.

Josh Bowler was offside when he headed a great chance crafted by Wilks and Callum Elder wide, and would miskick at a cross after 35 minutes, although Dan Batty's fierce shot did require a Dillon Phillips tip-over.

Toral headed a dinked cross, again from Wilks, wide.

But it was a couple of consecutive defensive lapses which cost Hull.

Aiden McGeady was lurking in far too much space at the back of the box when the impressive Tomer Hemed picked him out and although George Long did well to save, he was caught under the corner Jason Pearce stooped to head in at the far post in the 18th minute.

It was the captain's first goal since April 2019.

Five minutes later centre-forward Tomer Hemed volleyed an excellent pass to McGeady, whose backheel played in Adedji Oshilaja for a driven cross two forwards just failed to reach.

The silence 10 minutes later when left-back Oshilaja was being treated was deafening. McCann gave instructions to Elder but he is by nature a quietly-spoken man, and the contrast with Lee Bowyer and his noisy team was clear. Substitute Magennis's impact was heard as much as it was felt.

Albie Morgan and Bonne missed second-half chances they ought not to have and more good defending from MacDonald stopped Hemed getting on the end of a cross.

Only late on did Hull threaten, James Scott not getting the touch he needed to a Elder cross for a debut goal, and fellow substitute forcing a second save from Phillips but it was a meek return after so long away.

HULL CITY: Long; Pennington, MacDonald, de Wijs, Elder; Batty (Lewis-Potter 73), Kane; Bowler (Scott 56), Toral (Honeyman 56), Wilks (Samuelsen 85); Eaves (Magennis 56).

Substitutes: Tafazolli, Burke, Stewart, Ingram.

CHARLTON ATHLETIC: Phillips; Matthews, Lockyer, Pearce; Oshilaja (Purrington 61); McGeady (Field 82), Pratley, Cullen, Morgan (Doughty 61); Bonne (Williams 82), Hemed (Aneke 71).

Substitutes: Amos, Sarr, Oztumer, Davison.

Referee: Darren England (South Yorkshire).

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