Sam O’Malley’s second half equaliser was not enough to prevent Hull United from sliding to defeat at Beverley Town yesterday afternoon.
The former Grimsby Town striker was in the right place at the right time to pounce on a rebound five minutes after the interval, following ex Citizens winger Joe Baxter giving Beverley the lead before the break.
Hull United were undone by an error which saw them fall behind once more, before two further goals in the last eight minutes, with United chasing the game, gave the scoreline a comprehensive look to it.
United were encouraged by last weekend’s 4-0 home win over North Ferriby Athletic, and boss John Duffill named an unchanged starting eleven as reward for that display.
That meant O’Malley kept his place in the side ahead of Dan Mowforth, who netted twice from the bench last time out, and Tom Kerins just nudged out Scott Freeman in midfield, who again started on the bench.
Dan Nichols once again partnered Mike Stansfield in defence, with David Brooke and Paul Goldie on either flank.
Tresor Ntombo-Kalilwa returned to the bench after missing the Ferriby win, as did young defender Jordan Smith but Liam Taylor (knee) and Jay Asher (foot) were still both sidelined.
Early exchanges saw the game largely battled out in the middle of the park but the first quarter of an hour saw Ben Kinsley loop an effort over from a fine punt downfield by United keeper, Luke Robbins.
Beverley’s first effort of note came on 18 minutes as a Baxter cross was met by Craig Muirhead, and whilst backpeddling, Muirhead’s header forced Robbins to tip over.
The hosts broke the deadlock though twelve minutes later.
A driven low cross from the right was sent across the Hull United goal and with the ball bobbling around, the ball eventually found its way to Baxter on the left angle, and his driven effort left Robbins rooted and via the inside of the far post nestled into the net.
Up to this point United had competed with their more fancied opponents, but were undone largely by too many wayward passes and a lack of quality.
Shane Hill almost equalised though on 35 minutes, when again from a Robbins clearance, got in behind Beverley Town on the right angle, but his effort narrowly missed the far post.
Beverley threatened again moments before the break, this time from a central free kick which was bent around the wall, but rolled the wrong side of the left hand post.
During the break it was largely thought that The Citizens were still in the game but the next goal could prove crucial.
They started the second period much better and six minutes after the restart they was level.
A nice turn away from two defenders from deep by Kerins saw the midfielder sting the palms of the Beverley keeper from distance, but only into the path of O’Malley who bagged his second goal of the season with a predatory finish from close range.
The equaliser invigorated Hull United, but the optimism was short lived as within four minutes Beverley restored their advantage.
United failed to cut out a surging run downfield, and a resulting effort on goal, cruelly squirmed under the body of Robbins and into the net.
With Hull United visibly deflated at the restart, the goal gave the hosts what they needed to assume control in the remainder of the game.
A couple of shots at Robbins flew narrowly over in quick succession and with the game getting away from the visitors John Duffill, introduced Scott Freeman for Lewis Poucher on 66 minutes, the latter who it was later revealed had been struggling with flu in the week.
Dan Mowforth then replaced goal scorer Sam O’Malley four minutes later.
The changes failed to make a difference, and Beverley continued to push, Robbins again having to tip over a swirling effort before Ntombo-Kalilwa replaced Hill.
With the visitors trying desperately to restore parity once more, they were then hit twice in the last eight minutes.
With United appealing for offside, the referee, who incidentally to his credit with no assistant referees all afternoon waved play on, and Muirhead was allowed to tap home at the far post with Hull United failing to respond.
Without seriously threatening the Beverley keeper, United kept throwing bodies forward in a bid to get back into the game, however when a set-piece broke down and was cleared, Kerins the final covering defender was beaten to the ball on halfway and what led to a simple finish from a simple cross gave the scoreline a resounding look to it, with five minutes left to play.
Hull United: 1. Luke Robbins, 2. David Brooke (Sponsored by Paul Poucher Plumbing), 3. Paul Goldie, 4. Tom Kerins, 5. Mike Stansfield, 6. Dan Nichols, 7. Callum Staves, 8. Lewis Poucher (captain), 9. Sam O’Malley, 10. Shane Hill (Sponsored by Paul Poucher Plumbing), 11. Ben Kinsley
Substitutes: Scott Freeman (for Poucher 66), Dan Mowforth (for O’Malley 70), Tresor Ntombo-Kalilwa (for Hill 76)
Unused Substitutes: Josh Dennett, Jordan Smith
Man of the Match
Another committed, and consistent display from the centre-half, who despite been in a team that conceded four, won his majority of headers and made a number of excellent ball winning challenges.
His partnership with Mike Stansfield again showed signs of progression and promise.
Pocklington Town, Away, Henry Thirsk Amenity Centre, Saturday September 22, 2pm
(Thanks as always to Neil Winsor for this match report!)