Writer: Michael Briggs
Date:Sunday April 25 2010
Fabio Capello are you watching?
Well, Steve Bruce and his side must be kicking themselves and thinking 'what if we didn`t have that mid-season blip`
To push for a top 10 finish quite an achievement, considering a run of 14 games without a win and for a player such as Darren Bent to score over 20 in his first season is unbelievable.
This time however there was one more gremlin that the black cats needed to conquer, win away from home having only won once on the road, that`s equivalent to 6,500 miles worth of travelling.
That can all be abolished now after a gritty yet controversial 1-0 victory at the KC stadium where Hull FC are all but relegated because of results elsewhere.
Bent added to his growing goal tally to 25 of the season after creeping the ball in from Kenwyne Jones headed effort just after seven minutes.
The Tigers had a chance to claw there way back into the game when the returning Michael Turner was adjudged to foul Geovanni, only for Jimmy Bullard to strike the post.
Both teams were reduced to 10 men when Jozy Altidore head butted on loan full back Alan Hutton, after the Scot appeared to throw the ball off the American and Steve Bruce would also be given his marching orders after an altercation in his technical area
Hull did everything but score, mainly thanks to in-form stopper Craig Gordon, who will no doubt have a last shout for player of the season.
Realistically Sunderland should of won this game by four goals, all in the first half after Bent`s cheeky opener.
Henderson and again Bent both having chances but failed to hit the target.
It was then when Altidore unleashed fury against Hutton with an unnecessary head butt after the Scot threw the ball off the American.
In the second half however it was less of an entertaining game but more of a scrap, more so towards the Sunderland goal as Hull pushed and pushed but just couldn`t put the final ball.
The same could be said for the away side, the best of chances falling to Kieran Richardson, when his neat trickery cleared him in to acres of space on the inside of the box only for him to sky his cross at the vital moment.
To add more frustration manager Steve Bruce was sent to the stands after the referee pointed out that Bruce exited his technical area too many times, obviously the Black Cats boss was furious.
Before the final whistle blew the travelling fans broke into a chorus of 'Going Down` after news filtered out that West Ham scored a winning goal to condemn Hull to the Championship.
In his press conference Bruce dedicated the result to the fans and the club and still has the top ten finish in site.
He said "That result was a reward for the supporters and for how we went about things today.
"We flew out of the blocks and for the first half-hour it looked like we could score every time we went forward.
"I'm delighted for the supporters; today they saw a team full of passion and hunger.
"We could have come here with nothing to play for but the players want that tenth place and now we have an excellent chance.
"Generally I was very pleased, with the first half in particular when I don't think Hull could live with us.
"It was a struggle in the second half after the sendings-off because I think ten versus ten suited them.
"Having said that I don't think we really looked like we were in any real danger.
"There were a few things going on but it was one of those games. Alan Hutton's thrown the ball at their player and ended up being headbutted.
"I think the red card galvanised them, but there you have it. These things happen sometimes."
Date:Sunday April 25 2010
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