Hull City 4-1 Millwall ~ Match Musings

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Well, I didn’t see that result looming on the horizon...
Admittedly, the season is still trundling down the runway at the moment and hasn’t quite got the thrusters warming up but even so, a proper thumping (and believe me, it was a proper thumping) was not really at the forefront of my usually manageable expectations.

I should have suspected something would go tits up somewhere along the day. We set off in the Bonemobile and took the M11/A1(M) route up to Humberside and we didn’t hit a single pocket of traffic anywhere. Very unusual for a trip up north.

We parked in the ample roomed car park next to the KC Stadium and wandered over to the away section which takes you behind some hockey pitches. I mention this only because the only real laugh we had in Hull (where informants tell me that it is never dull) was when we passed by the back of one of the goals we clearly heard a loud ‘quacking’ noise. Now someone once reliably informed me that “if it walks like a duck and sounds like a duck then chances are that it is, indeed a duck”. Not this time though. The ‘quacking’ noise was coming from the goal keeper as he paced up and down in his area. The padding on his legs was rubbing together and it sounded just like a duck’s quack. I guess you had to be there...it made us laugh...

The Kingston Communication Stadium to give it its stupendously ridiculous full moniker is a soulless stadium, bereft of character and full of the now familiar happy clappy, shirt wearing stiffs and wallies we encounter up and down the country. It is, for all intents and purposes, a rugby club that has a football team playing in its stadium. The local dialect is something to behold as well. The place is actually in the County of East Riding of Yorkshire but not content with having their own unique telephone system (the only place in England to have it, hence white telephone boxes) they seem to have their own language as well. They speak Northern, obviously, but the dialect is weird. They pronounce Mashed Potato as mershed perderder, for example and like all norvern monkies, they have no idea that the letter H has been around for some considerable time. They pronounce their beloved football teams name as erl certy and, as we found out later, they sing merled by the tergers, yerl gerting merled by the tergers... strange people indeed.

But they do have a half decent football team though...as we also found out later.

Jackett sprung a surprise on us for this game. He slung Robbo back into a winning side without a moment s hesitation and set out a very fragile looking 3-5-2 formation that had us all (when I say all, I mean the 180 odd brave souls who turned up) scratching our craniums in puzzlement. Taylor was in goal then we had a back three of Lowry, Robbo and Osborne with the five midfielders being Henry, Abdou, Trotter, Wright and Malone which gave us Henderson and Keogh up front.

I have Harpo to thank for pointing out that the starting eleven, probably for the first time in Millwall’s history had not one pair of standard black football boots among them. The Gods of Football do not take kindly to this sort of behaviour and from that moment on our fate was already sealed. Fucking White/Orange/Sky Blue Pink football boots indeed!!
Referee Adcock got the game going and to start with we didn’t look too far off the pace until about 30 seconds had passed as we watched the home side waltz past our entire midfield/defence combo resulting in a low stinging shot that Taylor did very well to get down and smother.

Nervous smirks in the away end led to boggle eyed incredulity as Hull quickly proved that the opening effort was not a flash in the pan. They were passing through us like a bad case of the squirts, on five minutes the erstwhile Millwall striker, Jay Simpson, slotted a neat pass through to ElmoPutney (or is it Elmohamady?) who again tested Taylor with a crisp shot that the veteran ‘keeper did well to hold onto.

The pressure was relentless and again Taylor was on his mettle with barely ten minutes on the clock when he recovered nimbly to get to a wickedly deflected effort that looked like going in.

We did have some semblance of respite though and Henderson had a glorious chgance to nick a goal that would have been totally against the run of play when he was perfectly position to receive a cross from Henry’s corner but the big front man failed to hit the target.

As if to teach us a lesson for the audacity of having a chance Hull took the lead from the next passage of play. Koren picked up the ball inside our half and Trotter stood back and let him take all the time in the world to line up a shot that flew into the net with Taylor still rooted to the spot. 1-0 and it was no great surprise.

God love ‘em, the Lions tried to muster a response, Malone had a deflected effort drop onto the roof of the net and Amos, the Hull ‘keeper saved comfortably from a Henderson shot, but it was bows and arrows against artillery.

Hull got their second goal on the half hour mark and it was no surprise to see Simpson slot it home. A deep cross saw the striker in acres of space in our six yard box, the ball dropped comfortably over the jumping figure of Osborne, Simpson killed it and slotted home for 2-0.

We were bang in trouble now, no question about it. Hull had their tails up and we looked a bunch of chickens sharing a hen house with a fox. We were all over the place, squabbling and squawking at each other, all semblance of a team had dissipated out of the stadium along with any hopes of a result of any kind in our favour.

Minutes later our worse fears were realised after Hull had again sliced through our defences with no real effort at all, this time a run down the left of our area saw Chester cross a neat ball into the path of the incoming Faye who had no trouble heading the ball past the stricken figure of Taylor to make it 3-0.

We barely had time to gather out thoughts when goal number four was rattled in. By now the Lions were all at sea, no pretence of organisation, no rearguard actions, no spirit, and no fight left. Robbo made a clumsy challenge on Simpson as he headed towards our area but the ref, quite rightly, waved play on and Hull played the advantage well with Aluko managing to collect the ball and steer it past Taylor. 4-0. Total and utter disaster.

It could have been worse just before the break as again Taylor came to the rescue making a save from Quinn who hit a ferocious shot that Taylor failed to hold and that saw the ball loop up and from our position it looked like the ball had gone over the line, but Taylor scooped it out acrobatically and despite shouts from the home fans the Lino shook his head vigorously indicating no goal.

The half time whistle came soon after for some well earned respite from the onslaught we had witnessed.

The second half saw Jackett swap Osborne for Dunne and stick to a 4-4-2 system but almost immediately we nearly lost him as he made a crunching tackle on Quinn that saw referee Adcock brandishing a yellow card to welcome Dunne into the game.

Hull were clearly cruising and although the 4-4-2 formation appeared to have the desired effect of stemming the flow of goals you can’t help but think that if Hull had moved up through the gears we would have been on a proper , serious hiding.

As it was though, we held them at bay for about ten minutes but then Elmohamady had a fierce shot smack against the bar and shortly after that we finally got something to cheer when Dunne picked up the ball on the right wing and sent over a lovely ball into the box where Henderson was perfectly in position to nod the ball down and beyond the reach of Amos to make it 4-1.

Hull were playing keep ball now and we were chasing shadows for much of the remainder of the game. Shittu came on for a clearly knackered Robbo with about ten minutes to go but the general consensus of opinion was that Robbo, perhaps, was still not fully fit and perhaps should only have done 45 minutes.

The chances kept on racking up for Hull and I believe the official stats will tell you that they had something like 27 (twenty-seven) attempts at goal so it was a minor achievement to keep the bloody score down to 4-1.

Taylor produced yet another decent save in injury time to prevent the fifth goal from going in and then it was time to call it quits as referee Adcock called time on proceedings, and we all thanked him profusely for that small kindness.

It was a tough day all round for the team and for the fans who had made the long haul up to watch it all happen. We will probably see a few more games like this throughout the season but in my mind the best you can do is draw a line under the defeat, learn lessons and move on to the next game and forget about the torture you have endured.

We have got a lot of football coming up over the next few weeks and we go again on Tuesday night at home to Cardiff, who are flying at the moment so Jackett needs to get his tactics right from the off next time round and fuck about with formations unproven against sides that tear you as new arsehole if you drop your guard for a split second.

True is it that we have seen better days". - (As you like it - Act II, Scene VII).
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