Owls match report: Hull City 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1

Hull City v Sheffield Wednesday
Hull City v Sheffield Wednesday
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Record-signing Jordan Rhodes ended his long goal drought as Sheffield Wednesday secured a hard-fought 1-0 win at Hull City.

Rhodes, an £8m acquisition from Middlesbrough in February 2017, glanced in Jack Hunt's fine cross in the 18th minute to find the back of the net for the first time in 12 matches.

It was the striker's first goal since Boxing Day and his seventh of the campaign.

Hull enjoyed the better of the second half but the Owls dug deep to register a first clean sheet in 12 outings.

Three of the five alterations Wednesday chief Jos Luhukay made to his starting line-up were enforced. Lucas Joao, Atdhe Nuhiu and Daniel Pudil missed out through injury. Joao (leg) and Nuhiu (knee/ankle) were not included in the travelling party.

Liam Palmer and David Jones dropped to the bench but Barry Bannan was passed fit to play after shrugging off a groin problem.

Hunt, Frederico Venancio, George Boyd and Jordan Rhodes were handed first-team recalls as Luhukay looked for a strong response from his team following their first half debacle at Queens Park Rangers.

It was a frenetic start at the KCOM Stadium, with both sides creating chances galore. It took an inch perfect slide tackle from Boyd to prevent Markus Henriksen from breaking clear and testing the reflexes of Joe Wildsmith.

Rhodes, making his first start since Ipswich Town on March 6, forced Allan McGregor into action in the fifth minute. His downward header from Adam Reach's immaculate cross was expertly kept out by McGregor.

Wildsmith then had to be alert and rush off his line to prevent Abel Hernandez, one of six Hull changes, from latching on to Jon Toral's throughball.

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Fernando Forestieri, playing alongside Rhodes in attack, turned sharply on the edge of the area but his low shot lacked power and accuracy with McGregor making a routine save.

Hull defender Max Clark tried his luck from distance but Wildsmith pushed his rasping left foot behind for a corner.

After Harry Wilson curled over and Jon Toral headed wide from Kamil Grosicki's free kick, Rhodes headed the Owls in front.

Reach was busy in midfield and he almost doubled the visitors advantage in the 26th minute but the former Middlesbrough man scuffed his half volley narrowly wide.

Wednesday took the sting out of the Yorkshire derby, limiting Hull to few sights at goal.

There was one scare in the dying embers of the first half when the dangerous Wilson sprinted clear down the left flank and tried to pull the back back for Hernandez but Lees cleared the danger.

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The Tigers started the second period on the front foot, with Toral's effort comfortably gathered by Wildsmith.

Hunt was a great outlet throughout for the Owls and he showed great determination to chase down a lost cause and whip in a teasing cross to the near post which Hector touched away from Rhodes' path.

Wednesday suffered yet another injury just after the hour mark when Hunt picked up a knock and was replaced by Palmer.

Full-back Palmer was cautioned after a clumsy foul on Wilson before Seb Larsson drilled a shot high over the top.

It was Hull who looked more likely to score in a scrappy second period and striker Hernandez curled agonisingly wide for the hosts following good work by Toral.

The closest Wednesday came to adding to their lead was in the 87th minute when substitute Marco Matias nearly intercepted a short Ola Aina back pass. The Portuguese winger charged it down only for Michael Hector to produce a superb clearance near the goal line to stop Frederik Nielsen from tapping in a second.

Hull thought they had equalised in added on time when Jarrod Bowen turned in Wilson's low centre. It appeared the goal would be allowed to stand.

However, referee Scot Duncan disallowed the strike after consulting with his assistant, deeming Bowen to have strayed into an offside position.

It was a controversial flashpoint and the Owls survived another major scare when ex-Barnsley defender Angus MacDonald somehow headed Aina's long throw wide from close range.

Hull: McGregor; Alna, MacDonald, Hector, Clark; Larsson, Henriksen; Grosicki (Bowen 68), Toral, Wilson; Hernandez. Substitutes: Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Dawson, Tomori.

Owls: Wildsmith; Venancio, Lees, Thorniley; Hunt (Palmer 62), Pelupessy, Bannan, Reach, Boyd; Forestieri (Matias 81), Rhodes (Nielsen 86). Substitutes: Dawson, Butterfield, Jones, Kirby.

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