Hull City beaten by Berahino strike

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Published: Saturday 10th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Saido Berahino’s scoring hot-streak continued as Tony Pulis’ first Barclays Premier League game in charge of West Brom saw the Baggies beat Hull City 1-0 at The Hawthorns to move two points clear of the relegation zone.

Berahino followed up his four goals in last weekend’s 7-0 FA Cup thrashing of Gateshead by cracking the ball home in the 78th minute, the England under-21 striker being teed up from an indirect free-kick in the box awarded for Ahmed Elmohamady’s backpass to Allan McGregor.

Up to that point, Pulis will have been satisfied with what always looked set to be a clean sheet for his new team – particularly after Hull lost the services of frontmen Nikica Jelavic and Abel Hernandez in the first half to injury – but perhaps concerned by Albion’s own lack of cutting edge in attack.

That was most apparent just before half time when West Brom’s record signing Brown Ideye missed a glorious chance, shooting wide.

With Berahino subsequently notching his 14th goal of the season, though, Albion wrapped up three points – and only their fifth home league win since the start of 2014 – that put extra breathing space between them and the drop zone as they rose from 17th to 14th in the table.

Hull, meanwhile, have dropped to 17th and are clear of 18th-placed QPR on goal difference alone.

West Brom fans inside the stadium made plenty of noise – as requested by Pulis in his programme notes – as the game got under way, while the man himself was typically animated in the technical area.

But there was little to shout about occurring on the field, aside from some committed defending and a chance in the 18th minute for Berahino, who played a neat one-two with Stephane Sessegnon but could only put his shot wide after collecting the return pass.

At the other end Jake Livermore sent a strike over – possibly via a deflection, but no corner was given – and Hernandez directed another well off-target.

Berahino brought relatively comfortable saves out of Allan McGregor with a lofted effort from distance and a low drive.

Hull’s attack was then depleted by injuries to Jelavic and Hernandez, with Robbie Brady and Tom Ince coming on as replacements and the visitors being left without a recognised striker on the pitch.

Brady swiftly looked to show his forward prowess, powering a fierce effort from a tight angle towards the top corner that Ben Foster tipped behind.

Ideye then passed up what was unquestionably the best chance of the half, the Nigerian finding himself clean through but dragging his effort the wrong side of the post.

The tempo remained slow in the opening stages of the second half, although Berahino was still looking lively, flashing one delivery across the face of goal and then curling an effort into the stand.

Livermore did little to trouble Foster with an optimistic strike and Gareth McAuley headed wide of McGregor’s goal in a fairly tame manner before Ince rose to connect with a cross in a decent position, only for Joleon Lescott to get in the way.

The game looked very much set to end in a goalless draw until Elmohamady’s error led to the deadlock being broken.

Substitute Victor Anichebe – brought on for Ideye – touched the resulting free-kick to Berahino, who rifled it through a sea of Hull shirts into the net – and, unlike in the Gateshead game, celebrated scoring heartily.

Copyright Press Association 2015

Published: Saturday 10th January 2015 by The News Editor

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