Hull City stars show class to thump Harrogate Town by five

hsb  Harrogate Town's Ashley Worsfold  (131207M3b)
hsb Harrogate Town's Ashley Worsfold (131207M3b)

Hull City exerted their Premier League clash to beat Harrogate Town 5-0 in a pre-season friendly at the CNG Stadium.

City notched up five high quality goals in a match that proved to be a perfect workout for Town before they start their Conference North season next month.

The Tigers, who came 16th in the top tier last season as well as reaching the FA Cup final, brought a team of experienced Premier League and international stars to Harrogate.

Multi-million pound man Tom Huddlestone lined up in midfield alongside David Meyler with manager Steve Bruce’s son Alex partnering captain Paul McShane in defence.

For Town, Adam Nowakowski was handed the captaincy armband as manager Simon Weaver opted for a full-strength team to take on the Tigers.

And the hosts, wearing their new deep blue away kit, were close to making the perfect start. James Walshaw found an inch of space in the Hull area, but Bruce closed him down quickly to block his shot from six yards.

Hull drove at Town with pace throughout the opening quarter but Town’s ‘keeper Phil Barnes often thwarted their attacks, with one such save beating away George Boyd’s powerful drive.

Boyd was the man to break the deadline on 23 minutes when he exquisitely lifted the ball over Barnes from the edge of the area, leaving the keeper stranded a yard off his line.

Town huffed and puffed to find an equaliser, with Nowakowski and Simon Lenighan both showing grit in the centre of midfield.

Steve Harper tipped Rhys Meynell left-footed shot wide minutes after Joe Dudgeon cut out Walshaw’s clever cross.

However, Town’s promise soon came to a halt as City doubled the advantage. Ahmed Elmohaday found Brady in space inside the box, and the 22-year-old curled beautifully around Barnes into the corner.

Hull were soon into their scoring groove in the second period, as Calum Jahraldo-Martin swept in a brilliant effort into the corner, which once again, left Barnes no chance on his line.

Town had their best chance moments after falling three behind. Worsfold raced into the area with a one-two with Ryan Kendall, and after a back flick by Walshaw, the striker lashed against the post from two yards. It was a comedy finish to a comedy build-up, but showed Town were more than capable of breaking through their Premier League opposition’s defence.

Minutes later, City took their lead to four. Boyd cushioned a back heel to Brady who lashed into the bottom corner.

Barnes continued to earn his corn between the sticks and he prevented the scoreline from getting worse with a solid save from Huddlestone’s effort from distance.

However, City did make it five with less than 20 minutes on the clock when Boyd, so often in the build-up to the visitor’s play, creamed a left-footed drive into the far corner.

With the clock ticking down, Boyd spun a pass from left to right onto Elmohamady’s right foot but the full-back hammered straight back across the box.

Elmohamady kept pouring forward from full-back, and his late header cannoned back off the bar after finding space at the far post.

Despite conceding five, Town ‘keeper Barnes showed plenty of glimpses of what was to come for the season, and his safe hands collected a vicious late drive from Yannick Sagbo.

City carved out one last attack inside injury-time, but Lewis Turner cleared the danger with an excellent diving header.

Harrogate Town: Barnes; Turner, Heath, McGurk, Meynell; Nowakowski, Lenighan, Kerry; Walshaw, Worsfold, Kendall

Hull City: Harper; Elmohamady, Dudgeon, Bruce, McShane; Brady, Meyler, Huddlestone; Sagbo, Martin, Boyd.

Attendance: 540