Ryan Longman’s stunning second-half strike helped secure Hull City back-to-back wins in the Sky Bet Championship, defeating AFC Bournemouth 1-0 at the Vitality Stadium.
Grant McCann named a completely unchanged team from the one that faced Blackburn Rovers last time out. George Honeyman made his 100th league start for the Tigers, while Richie Smallwood made his 50th Hull City start in all competitions.
The hosts created the majority of chances in the opening exchanges of the game. Emiliano Marcondes had a tame effort held by Nathan Baxter, before the City shot-stopper was sharp off his line to strip the ball from the feet of Dominic Solanke.
The Bournemouth striker should have put the Cherries ahead after he connected with Ryan Christie’s cross, but his headed attempt went narrowly wide past the right-hand post. Baxter then produced a super save from point-blank range to deny Marcondes, before the Bournemouth midfielder saw a second attempt blocked by a sliding Jacob Greaves.
Bournemouth kept pushing for an opener as Marcondes hit the post after connecting with Phillip Billing’s cross, before Solanke brought the best out of Baxter, who dived down low to his right to push the forward’s effort away. Leif Davis tried his luck from range, but his ambitious strike flew over the crossbar while Solanke headed wide from Davis’ cross.
More chances fell to the Cherries as Marcondes’ poked effort was comfortably held by Baxter, before seeing a second chance deflect wide off Greaves. Solanke then fired over from close range while at the other end, Longman tested Mark Travers in the Bournemouth goal with a curling attempt.
The Tigers started the second half brightly as Keane Lewis-Potter fired over from the edge of the penalty area after Tom Eaves’ headed knock-down, before Travers parried Lewis-Potter’s placed attempt. The Bournemouth goalkeeper had to be alert moments later as he pushed over Eaves venomous effort, before punching Honeyman’s free-kick delivery.
In the other goal, Baxter held another looping header from Solanke, before the Cherries had penalty appeals waved away. Baxter was then sharp to push away Jack Stacey’s low cross, before the Tigers took the lead in the 77th minute. After Eaves won the ball high up the pitch, he played the ball to Longman who cut inside on his favoured right foot before curling his shot into the top far corner.
Marcondes searched for an equaliser for Bournemouth late on, but his dipping free-kick went over the bar, before Tyler Smith tested Travers in stoppage time when his near-post effort was pushed behind.
AFC Bournemouth (4-3-3): Mark Travers; Jack Stacey, Chris Mepham (Gary Cahill 38’), Lloyd Kelly (C), Leif Davis (Morgan Rogers 84’); Emiliano Marcondes, Jefferson Lerma, Phillip Billing; Ryan Christie, Dominic Solanke, Jamal Lowe (Jaidon Anthony 67’).
Subs Not Used: Orjan Nyland, Ben Pearson, James Hill, Gavin Kilkenny.
Hull City (3-4-1-2): Nathan Baxter; Di’Shon Bernard, Sean McLoughlin, Jacob Greaves; Randell Williams (Brandon Fleming 90’), Richie Smallwood (C), Greg Docherty, Ryan Longman (Tyler Smith 87’); George Honeyman; Tom Eaves, Keane Lewis-Potter.
Subs Not Used: Matt Ingram, George Moncur, Tom Huddlestone, Festus Arthur, Callum Jones.