FINE MARGINS: Karlan Grant strike helps Baggies to victory over Hull
PA - Nick Potts
Karlan Grant’s eighth goal of the season helped West Brom return to winning ways with a 1-0 victory over struggling Hull at The Hawthorns.
Grant swept home in the 69th minute for the only goal to reward a dominant performance from Valerien Ismael’s side as Hull suffered a seventh game without an away goal.
Albion created three early chances. Matt Phillips hit the post from Callum Robinson’s cross then Grant’s follow-up from even closer range was turned behind by goalkeeper Matt Ingram.
Robinson was then presented with a golden chance but he delayed his shot then saw two attempts blocked after Taylor Gardner-Hickman’s intelligent through ball.
The visitors had a rare opportunity just after the midpoint of the first half, but Jacob Greaves could only glance wide from a corner.
Another Albion attack saw Phillips go close again, stooping to head a yard wide from Conor Townsend’s cross.
There was an early change for West Brom as Adam Reach replaced Kean Bryan five minutes before half-time.
But the hosts’ momentum had faded and by the time the interval came they were booed off the pitch at a sparsely-filled Hawthorns.
Albion turned up the tempo soon after the restart to create another opening for Robinson. Gardner-Hickman beat two players on the right before squaring to Robert Snodgrass, who sprayed the ball wide to Reach for a cross stabbed wide by the former Sheffield United forward.
The catalyst for the victory could be traced back to the 63rd minute when Ismael introduced Jordan Hugill for Phillips.
West Brom forced Ingram into two important saves before they finally broke the deadlock.
Robinson decided to shoot early and forced the Hull goalkeeper to spring to his right to palm the ball away. Grant then produced a fierce, rising drive that was tipped over.
But Grant swept home from eight yards after a poor pass across his own box by Greg Docherty was intercepted by Jake Livermore, who fed Robinson to square for what proved to be the winner.
West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone saved the blushes of team-mate Cedric Kipre when he scooped the ball behind after the defender diverted George Honeyman’s cross goalwards.
Grant should have made it 2-0 when he ran half the length of the pitch, only to drag his shot wide.
Hull launched a late rally and Ryan Longman had a shot saved by Johnstone before seeing another effort blocked.
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