Jarrod Bowen double fires Hull to victory over Derby
Jarrod Bowen scored twice in the second half to earn Hull a 2-0 victory at home to Derby.
The much-in-demand winger had played most of the game in an unorthodox role up front.
But once substitute Tom Eaves occupied that position, Bowen scored within a heartbeat.
The 22-year-old took his tally to seven goals in the Sky Bet Championship this season after he found himself in a nice pocket of space towards the far post.
Leo Lopes’ deep cross from the left was perfect, but Bowen was in the right place at the right time and headed home after 74 minutes.
Derby, who had a goal disallowed in the second half, continue to find it tough on the road – having not won away since the opening weekend of the season.
And they did not do enough to warrant anything against spirited Hull, who doubled their advantage after 80 minutes when Kamil Grosicki set up Bowen to put the game to bed from 10 yards.
Both sides at first struggled to adjust to the saturated pitch.
Hull nonetheless looked the slightly more menacing outfit in the first half.
Josh Bowler’s left-footed drive inside the penalty area was unconvincingly saved by Kelle Roos before being hoofed away and that passage set the tone after 18 minutes.
Bowen was then teed up in a similar position, but his rising strike sizzled just over the right-hand stanchion of the goal.
Yet Derby always remained a relative threat on the counter-attack and should really have taken the lead after 32 minutes.
Kieran Dowell’s clipped cross into the penalty box from the right was as teasing as it was well directed.
But Tom Lawrence’s poked effort from close range was easily stopped by George Long, who was in a good position to snub out the danger.
Long was far from in a good position in first-half injury time, when he came for a routine high ball from Lawrence’s right-sided free-kick.
The Hull goalkeeper dropped the ball under no real pressure, with Chris Martin’s attempt from the resulting skirmish cleared to safety.
Hull rallied after the restart, with Grosicki and Jackson Irvine not too far away.
Yet for a fleeting period in the second half, Derby arguably had a little more zest within the final third.
Indeed, the visiting supporters thought their side had scored after 56 minutes when Lawrence headed home Jayden Bogle’s cross from the right.
But referee Simon Hooper spotted a foul on centre-back Jordy de Wijs and the goal was disallowed.
Hooper’s decision re-energised Hull, who were by far the more potent team inside the final half an hour.
Hull, though, continually made the wrong decision in front of goal – with Grosicki’s needlessly elaborate pass, when it was much easier to shoot, a case in point.
But, luckily for the hosts, star man Bowen was on hand to deliver when his side needed him most.