News24

Fagan boosts Hull's hopes

2009-05-16 18:22

Bolton - Craig Fagan cancelled out a goal from Bolton's Gretar Steinsson as Hull kept their survival hopes alive with a 1-1 draw at the Reebok Stadium on Saturday.

Steinsson gave Bolton the lead with a fine drive for his second goal of the season midway through the first half, but Fagan came up with a vital equaliser a minute after the restart following a swift Hull counter-attack.

Phil Brown's Hull, who have won just twice in 28 games, have their fate in their own hands going into the final game of the season against Manchester United next Sunday.

They sit one place and one point above the relegation zone and a victory over champions United, who are likely to rest players ahead of the Champions League final, would secure Hull's safety.

Bolton began the game in positive fashion and Matthew Taylor cut in from the right and shot just wide of goal with only a minute gone.

The Tigers were desperate to make an early impression and Manucho turned 25 yards from goal and hit a thumping shot that was held by Jussi Jaaskelainen.

The hosts continued to look the more dangerous side and Taylor lofted a shot just past the past after a neat knock-down from Johan Elmander.

Midway through the opening period, Hull's Richard Garcia found space down the right and clipped over a fine cross that was headed straight at Jaaskelainen by Manucho.

But from an Andy Dawson free-kick that was easily cleared by Bolton, the hosts raced down the other end and took the lead.

Fabrice Muamba and Taylor had efforts blocked but the ball fell for Steinsson on the edge of the area and he swept a fine effort into the corner of the net for his first goal since the opening day of the season.

The Tigers wasted two good chances to an equaliser straight away as Sam Ricketts' cross from the right was sent over the bar from six yards by Manucho.

From the corner that followed, Dawson's deep cross flew over everyone in the area but was headed wide by Nick Barmby.

Elmander had a shot pushed away by Boaz Myhill in the dying moments of the opening period.

And in first-half added time, Fagan hacked off the line after Gary Cahill met Mark Davies' corner with a powerful header.

But a minute after the restart, Hull were given a lifeline after Muamba failed to hit the target for Bolton.

As Hull broke away, Danny Shittu failed to deal with Garcia's through-ball and Fagan touched the ball past Jaaskelainen to pull the visitors level.

The atmosphere grew fractious after Kevin Davies caught Dawson before Steinsson went down clutching is face after he tangled with Barmby.

The hosts continued to press and Steinsson's clever cross from the right had just too much power on it for Elmander.

But Hull almost got lucky when Shittu's back header was tipped over by Jaaskelainen and then a cross from Geovanni was headed over his own bar by Cahill.

With 20 minutes remaining, Bolton failed to clear Dawson's cross and Barmby's bobbling shot came back off the post.

Hull hit the woodwork again when Manucho's flick was turned onto the bar by Jaaskelainen.

Jaaskelainen came to Bolton's rescue once again when he made a fine one-handed save from Fagan's header from Peter Halmosi's cross.

AFP