LAST GASP: Matty James earns City a stoppage time draw at Hull
PA - Simon Galloway
Bristol City showed spirit and perseverance in equal measure to earn a dramatic 2-2 draw at Hull.
The visitors were second best for long periods of the game but gained a point through Matty James in stoppage time.
Nigel Pearson’s men were often overwhelmed and fell behind after three minutes when Ryan Longman opened the scoring.
Hull deserved to lead, but former Tigers manager Pearson’s team talk at the break appeared to have done the trick.
Antoine Semenyo’s equaliser after 54 minutes gave the visitors a platform on the back of a sustained spell of pressure, yet once George Honeyman found the net with an alert follow-up to Keane Lewis-Potter’s hit after 79 minutes, there seemed little way back.
But James had other ideas when he cut loose outside the penalty area with a fine piece of individual skill to salvage an unlikely point.
Once Hull gained control through Longman’s smart curler, head coach Grant McCann must have felt like a home win was on the cards.
The on-loan Brighton winger was given too much space in which to enter the Robins’ penalty area – though the attacking threat appeared minimal.
Few inside the MKM Stadium expected that his right-footed curling effort – just inside the box and at a difficult angle – would hit the net with such accuracy.
The hosts continued to impress from an attacking perspective, yet Bristol City rallied, probed and began to offer intent inside the final third.
Hull, though, were defensively organised – when required to be so – and never gave their frontline a sniff of a chance before the restart.
If anything, Hull could have doubled their lead after 33 minutes when the influential Longman tried his luck with a sly chip from a similar position to the one from which he scored.
The ball went just over the crossbar, but it served further notice of Hull’s counter-attacking danger.
That was again evident on 38 minutes when Greg Docherty bustled his way into a commanding position on the left flank.
Docherty’s cross was poor, yet Daniel Bentley could not collect inside the six-yard box – with Mallik Wilks battering the ball at the goalkeeper’s legs from the rebound.
Pearson must have demanded much more at the interval – and it duly arrived once Semenyo equalised.
But just when it looked like Hull had seized the initiative through Honeyman, James had the final word.
Another searching ball into the Tigers’ penalty area was not efficiently dealt with. This allowed James time and space to execute an instinctive piece of opportunism that left goalkeeper Nathan Baxter with little chance.
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