Premier League - Late Wigan strike relegates Hull

Eurosport - Mon, 03 May 12:52:00 2010

A stoppage-time equaliser from Steve Gohouri was enough to snatch a 2-2 draw for Wigan, and send Hull City crashing back into the Championship after their Premier League clash at the DW Stadium.

2009-10 Premier League Hull City's Will Atkinson (left) and Wigan Athletic's Maynor Figueroa (right) - 0

Hull responded well to Iain Dowie's pre-match rallying call, with a stubborn away performance against a lacklustre Wigan.

Knowing that only a victory would delay relegation to the final match of the season, after West Ham's defeat to Fulham on Sunday, Hull came out determined to press a Wigan side with nothing left to fight for.

The home side made a bright start, with Victor Moses looking particularly menacing, hugging the left touchline and stretching Hull's infamously porous defence.

However, the game rapidly descended into a scrappy, dour encounter between a Hull side tenacious off the ball but toothless with it, and a Wigan side going through the motions.

On the 30th minute, Wigan finally made the breakthrough, with Moses, predictably, making a lively run down the wing, before cutting inside Mendy and steering a right-foot-shot perfectly onto the inside Matt Duke's far post and over the line.

The goal left Hull with a mountain to climb to delay their impending relegation, but the visitor's rallied to level just 12 minutes later, with former Wigan favourite Kevin Kilbane picking out Will Atkinson to head home on his debut.

With the score insufficient to stave off relegation, Hull would need a lively start to the second half to avoid becoming just the sixth Premier League side to go an entire season without an away win.

It was Wigan, though, who again came out looking the more dangerous, with Hugo Rodallega and Jordi Gomez both seeing spectacular right-foot efforts blaze just over Matt Duke's goal.

The misses would prove costly, as a rare Hull break in the 64th minute saw Boateng curl a lovely cross to the far post for 18-year-old Mark Cullen to snatch a lead for the visitors with his first Premier League goal.

If the score was harsh on the hosts, it was vindication for Iain Dowie, with his decision to play the young trio of Cullen, Atkinson, and Tom Cairney paying dividends for a Hull side so desperately short of goals throughout the campaign.

With less than half an hour to defend their uncharacteristic away lead, Hull dropped deeper and deeper in the closing stages, allowing Wigan to push further forwards and rack up the pressure on their nervy guests.

However, just as Hull's vociferous fans were finally beginning to believe that an illusive away victory was on its way, Wigan provided a heartbreaking end to Hull's Premier League fairytale.

Substitute Paul Scharner rose highest at the far post, heading a deep cross back for Steve Gohouri to acrobatically power into the net and condemn Hull to relegation to the Championship.


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