Hapless Hull thrashed
Colchester United 5 Hull City 1CHRIS Iwelumo bagged four goals to heap the misery on his old manager, Phil Parkinson, in another Championship goal-feast at Layer Road last night.
By Carl Marston
Colchester United 5 Hull City 1
CHRIS Iwelumo bagged four goals to heap the misery on his old manager, Phil Parkinson, in another Championship goal-feast at Layer Road last night.
It was a nightmarish return to his old club for an under-fire Parkinson, whose Hull City are wallowing in the relegation mire. By contrast, his former team are now riding high in seventh spot.
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Parkinson had masterminded the U's promotion into the second tier of the Football League for the first time in their history, just seven months ago, but he was given a hot reception by the Layer Road faithful. It was a night he will not forget in a hurry.
His Hull side actually took the lead, against the run of play, when former Ipswich Town striker Nicky Forster bundled home from point blank range on 16 minutes.
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But Colchester were level within three minutes, thanks to the first of Iwelumo's four goals, a thunderous header from Kevin McLeod's free-kick.
And the U's then tore the Tigers to shreds during a one-sided second period. Iwelumo converted a 53rd-minute penalty to give the U's the lead, and the big Scotsman then set up Jamie Cureton for the third goal just four minutes later.
United, and Iwelumo in particular, were hungry for more goals. It was 4-1 in the 66th minute, with Iwelumo completing his hat-trick after Karl Duguid's shot had been blocked.
And Iwelumo capped a memorable evening by sweeping home the U's fifth, and his fourth of the night, in the 80th minute. It was his ninth goal of the season.
This was Colchester's eighth home victory on the trot, a terrific achievement. The future looks bright for the U's and their manager Geraint Williams; the same cannot be said of his predecessor, Parkinson.
The U's made just one change to the side that thumped Essex rivals Southend 3-0 on Saturday. It was an enforced one, with Chris Barker serving a one-match suspension for his red card against the Shrimpers. George Elokobi was therefore handed his fifth start of the season at left-back.
Parkinson was greeted by a mixed reception on his appearance in the visitors' dug-out before kick-off. There were a few boos, but also some applause amongst the Layer Road faithful.
The Tigers boss watched his old team dominate the opening exchanges, without applying a killer touch. The U's failed to capitalise on a couple of early corners, and Elokobi also smashed an opportunist 30-yarder well wide of target.
Greg Halford had netted the opening goal against Southend with a storming run and sensational strike, and the U's fans were hopeful of a repeat when the right-back embarked on another powerful run in the 12th minute. This time, though, he chose to cross rather than shoot, and Iwelumo could not make contact with his attempted header.
Hull took the lead with their very first attack in the 16th minute, thanks to a close-range effort from Forster. Ex-U's star Fagan flicked on a cross and Forster bundled home the loose ball at the far post.
However, the U's took just three minutes to equalise. Elokobi played a part, earning a free-kick on the left flank after being pushed by defender Sam Ricketts.
McLeod floated the free-kick into the danger zone, where Iwelumo climbed high to send a towering header into the roof of the net from 10 yards out. It was the Scotsman's sixth goal of the season.
The game was very open, and the Tigers almost regained the lead in the 23rd minute. Fagan was once again the creator, sliding a delightful pass through for an on-rushing Forster, who was homing in on goal. But Wayne Brown stopped him in his tracks with a well-timed tackle.
Two minutes later and Kem Izzet nearly squeezed home his first goal for two-and-a-half years. Keeper Boaz Myhill flapped at Elokobi's high punt, under pressure from Iwelumo, and Izzet steamed in to poke goalwards, only for Myhill to claw the ball behind for a corner.
Myhill had to make another smart save on 35 minutes, lunging down at his near post to keep out a cross-cum-shot from Halford. The American was also in the right place to smother a goal-bound drive from Jamie Cureton.
Just before the interval, Karl Duguid skipped past a couple of challenges on the edge of the box. The U's skipper had a sight of goal, but he cracked his shot well over the bar.
It had been an absorbing, if slightly disjoined first period. The U's had made a few uncharacteristic errors at the back, in what had been a rather edgy performance.
Iwelumo settled the nerves by first winning, and then converting a 53rd-minute penalty to nudge the U's into a 2-1 lead.
Defender Daniel Coles was the culprit, tripping Iwelumo inside the box after the U's striker had exchanged a one-two with Kem Izzet. Referee Pat Miller immediately pointed to the spot. Up stepped Iwelumo to rifle the penalty high to Myhill's left, so chalking up his third successful spot kick of the campaign
Four minutes later and Iwelumo was in the action again, this time setting up the third goal for his strike-force partner Cureton. Tigers defender Michael Turner completely missed his kick, while attempting to cut out Iwelumo's flick-on, and Cureton took full advantage.
The U's leading scorer bided his time, waiting for keeper Myhill to commit himself before sweeping home an angled shot from eight yards out. It was his 10th goal of the season.
Hull were staring defeat full in the face. They did have one chance to reduce the deficit, but substitute Nicky Barmby headed over the top from Sam Ricketts' cross.
Barmby's miss came on 66 minutes, and it was just a few seconds later that Iwelumo killed off the game with his hat-trick goal.
Duguid was the inspiration, charging into the box before unleashing a stinging shot that Myhill did well to keep out, down at his near post. Duguid steered the rebound back into the danger-zone where Iwelumo, with his back to goal, turned to tuck home a low shot from six yards out.
It was a sublime finish from the U's on-fire centre-forward. And with their side 4-1 up, against their former manager, the Layer Road faithful could not resist a chant of - "Who needs Phil Parkinson? We've got George Williams!"
United were now completely in charge, and it was no real surprise when they rattled up a fifth goal on 80 minutes. It was also no surprise that Iwelumo should again be the marksman for his fourth goal of the night.
There was pinball in the Hull penalty area. Johnnie Jackson's initial shot was cleared off the goal-line by Turner, and Myhill then performed heroics to beat away Elokobi's marvellous 20-yard follow-up. But there was no denying Iwelumo, who scooped the rebound into the roof of the net from point-blank range.
The Tigers could have leaked more goals as the U's turned the screw during the closing minutes. In fact, all three substitutes, Kevin Watson, Jamie Guy and debutant Hogan Ephraim, rained in shots that Myhill was at full stretch to gather.
Parkinson looked a shell-shocked figure at the final whistle. His current Hull side had been well and truly trounced by his former team.