Championship – Windass smashes Hull into top flight

Championship – Windass smashes Hull into top flight

EurosportSat, 24 May 19:34:00 2008

Hull City won promotion to the Premier League for the first time with a 1-0 victory over Bristol City at Wembley thanks to a superb Dean Windass volley.

2007-2008 Championship playoff final Hull City Dean Windass - 0

Humberside native Windass, at 39 years of age, steered his boyhood team to victory with a stunning strike from the edge of the penalty area on 38 minutes after good work by on-loan Manchester United starlet Fraizer Campbell.

There was further concern for Bristol City, who had right-back Bradley Orr carried off with a depressed cheekbone fracture in the first period. The injury required lengthy on-pitch treatment and resulted in 10 minutes of first-half injury time.

Phil Brown’s Hull, who have never played in the top flight during their 104-year existence, were the better side in the first half but put under pressure for large swathes of the second period by Gary Johnson’s men.

The first chance fell to Dele Adebola on five minutes when the ball broke for him in the box. He did well to hold off Wayne Brown and get a shot away – but it was on his weaker right foot and comfortably saved by Boaz Myhill in the Hull goal.

The Tigers sought to get the ball to key men Windass and Campbell in attacking positions; despite a good deal of frustration, Windass found enough space to lay a ball out wide to Sam Ricketts on 24 minutes.

His cross found Richard Garcia, who headed marginally over Hull’s first real chance of the game.

Both teams were willing to pass the ball patiently, but that translated into a lack of final-third penetration until the only goal of the encounter.

Hull’s spell of possession was coming to an end as Bristol City began to apply their own pressure when a promising passing move ended with veteran striker Adebola’s poor touch in the box, giving Hull the chance to break down the middle.

The ball was given to Campbell in the opposition half. He skipped away from several half-hearted challenges in the box – the defenders perhaps wary of giving away a penalty – and turned back near the byline to stand up a chipped pass for Windass.

He watched it fall on to his right foot, connecting beautifully to send the ball inside the near post, giving Adriano Basso no chance whatsoever.

Orr – who had earlier clashed heads with another Hull hometown hero Nick Barmby – went down with concussion on 41 minutes, needing an oxygen mask and neck brace as the medical team ensured he was taken from the field safely.

Star man Lee Trundle was not in the game for Bristol City, deprived of service and unable to cultivate space for himself in the frenetic action.

The second half was all Bristol City. Michael McIndoe conjured memories of his semi-final free-kick strike when he smashed another one at goal after it was touched inside, but Wayne Brown was there to shoulder it away.

Ivan Sproule appeared for David Noble to attack down the right and enjoyed some success, yet the final ball was still missing for the Robins.

Barmby, 34, who had threatened on the counter with his closing down of Brazilian Basso, was taken off for Craig Fagan – and he drew the first yellow card of the match when Sproule fouled him on a breakaway.

Trundle finally won space in the box in the 73rd minute, somewhat fortunate to keep it under control as a sight of goal opened up; however Myhill saved at his near post.

Darren Byfield joined Trundle and Adebola up front and had two great opportunities to hit the target, wasting them both, before the chance that will haunt former Swansea man Trundle.

Myhill punched a looping ball away weakly under pressure and the ball fell to the striker eight yards out. He smacked it towards goal, only to see Michael Turner divert it over with a flying block.

Byfield again almost got there with a minute to go as he attacked Sproule’s low cross at the near post, the ball just poked away from him at the last second.

Campbell was booked in injury time for a boisterous challenge and substituted straight after, but it did not matter.

Windass, holding his head and Barmby alternately on the bench – having left the action with 20 minutes to go for Caleb Folan to rapturous applause – leapt on to the field and sprinted to his supporters, falling to his knees as he contemplated this late, great achievement in his football career.

Jonathan Symcox / Eurosport

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