A dull, turgid affair that confirms my doubts about warm weather training was settled by a last minute strike from Caleb Folan.
We would have lost this game last season, grown impatient by the lack of quality or flow in the game and have been pole axed by a sucker punch.
It was the worst game of the season at Walton Street by a country mile, but we learnt some valuable lessons in patience, keeping our shape and not chasing the game willy-nilly whatever the protestations from the stands.
Dean Marney had an absolute stinker. Again. Brown explained Livermore’s absence in terms of needing versatility in an illness hit squad, but it doesn’t hide the fact that we are short of quality in the centre of the park.
Having said that, Bryan Hughes moved across from the left to occupy the central berth and performed with a quiet assurance, which leads me to conclude that a partnership with Ashbee, here absent ill, would make for interesting possibilities given the Welshman’s passing skills.
New boy Simon Walton was thrown in at the deep end having travelled up from QPR on the day, a season long loan for the versatile defender having been concluded in the small hours.
He gave the ball away a lot in an unfamiliar midfield role, but then who didn’t on a rotten night for football compounded by a bumpy pitch?
We sit three points off sixth, and with a game in hand. The Nationals are not talking about us yet so the pressure is not unbearable.
I am buoyant. Winning ugly can win you things come May, and come the final reckoning this could have been a pivotal game in our season.
Hull City: Myhill, Ricketts, Turner, Brown, Dawson, Garcia (Pedersen 78), Walton, Marney (Barmby 51), Hughes, Windass (Folan 64), Campbell.
Subs Not Used: Doyle, France.