Tigers book Wembley date

City prepare for play-off final after comprehensive win

Hull City are to make their first ever appearance at Wembley after a 6-1 aggregate win over Watford in the Championship play-offs.

The Tigers booked their date with Bristol City after coming from behind to beat the Hornets 4-1 at the KC Stadium to complete their aggregate victory.

Leading 2-0 after the first leg at Vicarage Road, Hull began nervously and fell behind to Darius Henderson's 12th minute effort.

But home-town boy Nick Barmby bundled in an equaliser just before half-time to leave the visitors with an uphill task to get back into the tie.

Substitute Caleb Folan put the tie beyond the visitors with a 70th minute header before Richard Garcia and Nathan Doyle netted late on to spark wild celebrations at the KC Stadium.

As for Watford they are left to reflect on a run of one win from 16 games which scuppered any hopes of an immediate top-flight return.

Despite starting the evening with the comfort of a two-goal cushion following a convincing 2-0 win in the first leg on Sunday, Hull were poor early on.

Hornets skipper John Eustace had a 20-yard volley comfortably saved before Fraizer Campbell almost capitalised on Adrian Mariappa's sloppy backpass to goalkeeper Richard Lee.

Adrian Boothroyd's boys needed an early goal if they had any hope of turning the tie around and it duly arrived after 12 minutes, with Henderson making a dramatic return to the side from suspension.

Henderson exchanged a series of intricate passes with Jobi McAnuff before firing clinically past Boaz Myhill from 10 yards to take his tally for the season to 13 goals.

Dean Windass volleyed over from 20 yards straight from the restart and curled a 30-yard free-kick over as Hull struggled to emulate the attacking gusto shown in the first encounter between the sides.

Ian Ashbee powered a near-post header over after meeting Andy Dawson's 40th-minute corner and barely three minutes later the hosts were level.

Michael Turner's lofted header caused unrest in the Watford defence and Jay DeMerit's weak headed clearance fell to Garcia.


Garcia looped a goalward header over the advancing Lee and the outstretched Barmby bundled the ball over the line from right underneath the crossbar to ease the home side's nerves heading into the interval.

Barmby's equaliser galvanised Phil Brown's men and they looked more comfortable in possession after the restart.

Boothroyd introduced Tamas Priskin on the hour mark and it almost proved an inspired substitute for the visitors.

Priskin latched on to Tommy Smith's pass before unleashing a rasping 12-yard drive from an acute angle with his first touch which Myhill could only palm behind for a corner.

It was another substitute - Folan - who effectively ended the game as a contest 20 minutes from time as he stooped unmarked to head home Sam Ricketts' right-wing cross from six yards.

Doyle and Craig Fagan went close to adding another for Hull, while Bryan Hughes cleared off the line from Henderson in a breathless end to the second half.

But the Tigers finished with a flourish as Garcia scampered through the Watford defence and slotted home from 14 yards after 88 minutes, before substitute Doyle's deflected effort from 12 yards completed the scoring barely a minute later.


Hull City Team Statistics Watford
4 Goals 1
1 1st Half Goals 1
5 Shots on Target 6
7 Shots off Target 2
6 Blocked Shots 2
6 Corners 9
12 Fouls 13
5 Offsides 1
2 Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
65.5 Passing Success 64.1
25 Tackles 23
68 Tackles Success 69.6
45.7 Possession 54.3
47.5 Territorial Advantage 52.5