A man of the match performance from Joshua King saw Hull’s run of five straight defeats and earned them a victory over Middlesbrough to dent the Teessiders’ play-off hopes.
A goal and an assist for the Norweigan earned him the award after starting for the first time in four games in a competitive front-line at the KC Stadium. Marvin Emnes had earlier given Boro the lead before King levelled things, rifling home his first goal for the Tigers. Fryatt then secured Hull’s first win in seven with his 12th goal of the season, diverting King’s inch-perfect cross home. King was a thorn in Middlesbrough’s side as he threatened in a free role whereby he switched positions with fellow loanee Robbie Brady and striker Fryatt. Brady also put in a sound performance and was more effective from the wide positions putting in crosses for Fryatt and King to attack.
However, both King and Brady were both on the bench at the weekend as Hull lost 2-0 to Milwall. The two forwards came on with 20 minutes to go as Hull seeked an equaliser but neither was able to overcome the dogged defending of Shane Lowry and captain Paul Robinson at the heart of the Millwall defence which was key to them keeping a clean sheet.
Tomasz Kuszczak had a mixed week as two goals from Stephen Dobbie earned Blackpool victory over Watford. The striker – on-loan from Swansea – scored his first by beating keeper Tomasz Kuszczak after a mazy run.
Kuszczak then saved well from Tom Ince before bringing him down inside the area.
The game was barely underway when Kuszczak was sent scrambling by Ince, his shot deflecting off Martin Taylor, but the Polish keeper got a hand to the ball to scoop it off the line. PIG was then sent the wrong way as Dobbie slotted home a late penalty. Kuszczak was less busy on Monday as Watford traveled to Cardiff. His only major save coming after Kenny Miller prized open the Watford defence with an exquisite chip but Aron Gunnarsson could not direct his header past the loan star. He was beaten by Miller though as the Scot powered an emphatic header in on the stroke of half time.
It was 10 against 10 for the majority of Oldham’s game against league-leaders Charlton and our Reece Brown’s defensive partner Jean-Yves M’voto was sent off for two bookable offences. Brown was all at sea as he followed the ball instead of the man by chasing after Rhoys Wiggins who crossed in for the vacant Yann Kermorgant to head in from six-yards to win it for the South London side. Brown tried to show his versatility by filling in at right back for Monday’s game against Sheffield Wednesday but had a shocker. He was at fault for Wednesday’s opener as he allowed Miguel Llera time and space to put in a centre for Gary Madine to head in. His positional play was poor and his naivety was there for all to see as he left his man at a free kick and was punished as Llera headed home. An ill-advised decision to go forward furthered Brown’s embarrassment as The Owls countered and yet another header rounded things off.
Oliver Norwood showed his quality in a tense encounter between Coventry and Peterborough. He made his second assist in as many weeks to level terms when his cross-field pass was brought down by Clarke at the far post and he lofted an inviting cross for McDonald to head past Paul Jones. He hit a few speculative shots wide of the post too as Coventry searched for a winner but it ended 2-2. Norwood was not in similar form in Coventry’s 3-1 loss to Bristol City as he was deployed in a more defensive position. It was obvious he was uncomfortable in the role as he barely had a touch of the ball and was surrounded and often fouled whenever he did receive possession.
Scott Wootton has been pushed onto the sidelines at desperate Nottingham Forest and had to make do with a seat on the bench for both games over Easter weekend. Wootton was unused in the 1-0 loss to Bristol City on Saturday but did manage to come on in their Bank Holiday Monday match at Peterborough. He was brought on to replace Lewis McGugan as Forest turned attack to defence to hold onto a much needed 1-0 victory.
Bebe is back. Again. The Portugueezer came on in the 72nd minute as Besiktas drew 1-1 with Karabukspor to ensure a place in the Turkish Super Lig Play-Offs. He played centrally for the final twenty minutes but was clearly not 100% fit as his touch was heavy and he ran the ball out of play (an image we saw too often last term) but with main striker Almeida being sent-off, Bebe may gain a starting place in the play off match against Trabzonspor, and who knows, he might be a league champion by the end of the season (too).
John Cofie played 90 minutes for Antwerp as they slumped to a 3-0 home defeat to Boussu Dour Borinage. Incidentally, a Jean Koffi did find the net for the visitors but our version had no such luck with his side being largely outplayed much to the dismay of the home crowd who were making their feelings known despite their being just 3,250 of them. Cofie was left frustrated as he led the line for Antwerp but was being forced to chase long balls all afternoon.