Hull City made it three wins from their opening three Sky Bet League One fixtures with a 2-0 success at Northampton Town on Saturday afternoon.
Late first half goals from Keane Lewis-Potter and George Honeyman saw the Tigers take control of the game and they saw it through after half time to also record a third successive league clean sheet.
Hakeeb Adelakun came straight into Grant McCann’s starting eleven following his midweek loan move from Bristol City and played down the right, with the in-form Mallik Wilks was missing. Also absent was skipper Richie Smallwood, with his place taken by Alfie Jones whose first league start for the Club came in midfield. Honeyman wore the captain’s armband.
On a wet and windy afternoon at the PTS Academy Stadium it was the home side that threatened first through a couple of set-pieces before it was the Tigers’ turn to threaten as Callum Elder’s free kick delivery was well defended by the Cobblers.
Lewis-Potter had the first meaningful attempt at goal in the 25th minute with a shot from distance that curled just past the post.
Jordy de Wijs picked up a booking for a foul on Harry Smith, and Josh Magennis soon followed as he conceded a free kick on the edge of his own box. Joesph Mills took it and brought a save out of Matt Ingram.
Magennis then earned his side a free kick as Town’s Christopher Missilou went into the book and, from it, the Tigers took a 34th-minute lead. Honeyman’s delivery from the right was perfect and Lewis-Potter was there to meet it with a thumping header.
Lewis-Potter saw appeals for a penalty turned down moments later as some direct running caused problems for Northampton right back Luka Racic and Honeyman saw an effort correctly ruled out for offside as the visitors got on top.
And they made their dominance count as the lead was doubled a minute before the break. Adelakun split the defence to send Honeyman through and he produced a cool finish past goalkeeper Steve Arnold.
Greg Docherty fired wide in added time after being released by Lewis-Potter but the Tigers were in command as they headed for the dressing room.
Docherty picked up a yellow card early in the second half while a cute touch from Adelakun inside the box almost created a chance for a third but he was crowded out by the defence and goalkeeper.
A controlled second half performance was seeing the Tigers maintain control of the game, with a first change seeing James Scott replace Adelakun.
Scott went close to adding to his side’s lead when he got on the end of Elder’s left-wing delivery but a glancing header went wide, and the substitute was then denied by Arnold after meeting a Lewis-Potter cross at the near post.
Substitute Nicky Adams went the closest to pulling Northampton back into the game with a chip that landed on the roof of the net in the closing ten minutes, while at the other end Magennis saw a header kept out by Arnold in the last of the meaningful action.
Northampton Town: Steve Arnold, Luka Racic (Nicky Adams 84), Cian Bolger, Joe Martin, Mark Marshall (Caleb Chukwuemeka 72), Ryan Watson, Christopher Missilou, Joseph Mills, Sam Hoskins, Harry Smith, Matt Warburton (Joe Nuttall 54).
Subs Not Used: Jonathan Mitchell, Michael Harriman, Chris Lines, Morgan Roberts.
Hull City: Matt Ingram; Josh Emmanuel, Reece Burke, Jordy de Wijs, Callum Elder; Alfie Jones, Greg Docherty, George Honeyman ©; Hakeeb Adelakun (James Scott 70), Josh Magennis, Keane Lewis-Potter (Daniel Batty 88).
Subs Not Used: George Long, Lewie Coyle, Sean McLoughlin, Thomas Mayer, Callum Jones.
Referee: Mr A. Young.