Boyd goal enough for Hull

Hull City moved four points clear of Watford in the Championship

after George Boyd’s goal secured a 1-0 win at the John Smith’s

Stadium against Huddersfield.

The 27-year-old’s emphatic finish was a rare moment of class in

a game bereft of clear-cut chances.

Huddersfield, left looking over their shoulders at the other end

of the table, were chasing back-to-back wins for the first time

since October, but have slipped to within two points of the

relegation zone and face a nervous run-in.

Hull striker Jay Simpson, playing alongside Boyd up front for

the first time, fired an early volley straight at Huddersfield

goalkeeper Alex Smithies.

The home side responded soon after as Neil Danns sent a 20-yard

shot fizzing inches wide, but neither side mustered a chance worthy

of note for the next half an hour.

Hull midfielder Robert Koren’s terrific cross from the left

shortly before half-time had home defender Anthony Gerrard

scrambling to hack the ball clear from under the bar, but that was

the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock in the first

half.

But Hull came bursting out of the blocks after the restart with

Boyd’s blockbuster giving them a 46th-minute lead.

Simpson threaded a fine diagonal pass into Boyd’s path and

although under pressure from covering Huddersfield defender Peter

Clarke, the Scotland international lashed a rising shot into

Smithies’ top right-hand corner from the edge of the penalty area

without breaking stride.

There was plenty of huff and puff from the home side, but the

final pass eluded them and in contrast, when Hull broke forward

they looked a more well-oiled machine.

Boyd fired a left-footed effort straight at a grateful Smithies

from David Meyler’s cutback as the visitors sensed a second goal

would kill the contest.

Huddersfield manager Mark Robins sent on Danny Ward for

midfielder Oliver Norwood and Clayton was replaced soon after by

Sean Scannell.

Hull keeper Stockdale deftly thwarted skipper Clarke’s attempted

cutback as Huddersfield tried to lift themselves for a late

rally.

And in a frantic finish Hull defender Jack Hobbs threw himself

in front of Danns after Stockdale had lost the ball to block the

Huddersfield midfielder’s shot.