Wolves' 100% start continues
Hull City 2 (Dawson 27, Meyler-pen 90+10)
Wolves 3 (Neves 6, Jota 43, Dicko 90)
Wolves continued their winning start to the season with a third consecutive League triumph all of them coming against teams highly fancied to be in the promotion mix come next spring.
They didn’t have things all their own way, though, and they had to withstand periods of intense pressure against a Hull team newly relegated from the Premier League. But Wanderers deserved the points that keeps them in second place in the Championship table.
Perhaps unsurprisingly after their display at Derby three days earlier, Wolves were unchanged and they took to the field wearing the new sky blue change kit.
City kicked-off attacking the end of the KC Stadium the housed around 1,300 supporters that had made the trip from Wolverhampton to Humberside.
Inside the first minute Abel Hernandez forced a diving save from John Ruddy with an angled drive. Then Willy Boly had to clear a short cross into the goalmouth from Kamil Grosicki as Hernandez slid in.
After a couple of probing attacks from the visitors a sensational strike from Ruben Neves saw Wolves taking a sixth minute lead. There didn’t seem to be much danger when he picked the ball up some 25-yards out but he suddenly let fly and the ball arrowed into the far corner of the net.
It could easily have been two following a Neves corner. Leo Bonatini flicked the ball on and Roderick Miranda, stationed at the back post, headed over from close quarters.
Neves needed lengthy treatment after going down outside the home area. When play resumed Barry Douglas hit a low cross but it was cleared by a defender at the near stick.
Hull drew level in the 27th minute as Wolves conceded their first goal of the campaign. Jarrod Bowen’s corner curled in and struck the post before being headed behind for a second flag-kick. This time it was taken by Grosicki and when the ball was headed out by Jota, Michael Dawson followed up to nod home
Jota almost restored the lead when he took advantage of some sloppy defending but he was challenged and slipped as he ran into the home area and the chance was gone.
Then Jota bulldozed his way past a challenge and ran in along the by-line before pulling the ball back but, unfortunately, it ran to a defender who booted clear.
Wolves did regain the lead in the 43rd minute, however. Bright Enobakhare won possession on the right and sprinted into the area before delivering a low, driven cross that was swept home by Jota on the far side of the six-yard box.
Half-Time: Tigers 1 Wolves 2
After crosses from Matt Doherty and Enobakhare were cleared by the City defence in the opening exchanges of the new half, Romain Saiss was yellow carded after catching Fraizer Campbell with a high challenge. He was followed into the book shortly afterwards by Jota who fouled Ola Aina wide on the Hull right.
Both sides made changes on the hour. Ivan Cavaleiro took over from Enobakhare for Wanderers whilst Hull sent on Seb Larsson for Bowen.
Hull keeper Allan McGregor failed to hold a Bonatini header following a Douglas corner before the ball was hooked to safety, before Ruddy was called into action to deal with low shots from Campbell and then Henandez.
Further changes came when Nouha Dicko replaced Bonatini with Hull switching Adama Diomande for Campbell who, a minute earlier, had been booked for dissent.
City almost drew level for a second time when Hernandez headed against a post following Sam Clucas’s corner and then a flowing move from the visitors ended when Cavaleiro’s shot struck a defender after he had taken a return pass from Doherty.
Hernandez went down deep in the Wolves area with what later transpired to be a suspected Achilles injury. He was obviously in trouble and whilst he was being treated Wolves took the opportunity of giving Ryan Bennett his debut, sending him on in place of Jota. As Hernandez was carried off on a stretcher, he was replaced by David Meyler.
In the 90th minute Cavaleiro’s through ball released Dicko who ran from inside his own half before drawing McGregor and calmly slotting the ball into the net (pictured).
There were nine added minutes at the end and it was actually in the 100th minute when Hull got a consolation penalty that was converted by Meyler after an innocuous challenge by Matt Doherty on Diomande.
Seconds after the restart, the referee whistled to end what had been an enthralling contest.
Tigers: McGregor, Hector, Grosicki, Hernandez (Meyler 86), Clucas, Bowen (Larsson 60), Dawson (capt), Henriksen, Clark, Campbell (Diomande 76), Aina.
Unused subs: Mannion, Mazuch, Weir, Lenihan.
Bookings: Campbell (70 – dissent), Dawson (90+2 – foul).
Wolves: Ruddy, Doherty, Douglas, Coady (capt), Boly, Miranda, Saiss, Enobakhare (Cavaleiro 60), Bonatini (Dicko 75), Neves, Jota (Bennett 85).
Unused subs: Norris, Batth, Graham, Price.
Bookings: Saiss (48 – foul), Jota (54 – foul), Neves (68 – foul), Cavaleiro (90+4 – foul).
Referee: J. Simpson.