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.