Tigers battle to draw
Hull City Vs West Ham United, Sat 21 Nov 2009
Ten-man Hull held on for a point after staging a remarkable fightback to draw 3-3 with fellow Barclays Premier League strugglers West Ham.
The Tigers looked to be heading back into the bottom three as West Ham raced ahead with early headed goals from Guillermo Franco and Jack Collison at the KC Stadium.
Hull hit back when Carlton Cole deflected a Jimmy Bullard free-kick into his own net and the game then turned on its head in the closing two minutes of the first half.
Kamil Zayatte equalised with a powerful volley and Bullard then struck from the penalty spot but West Ham claimed a draw through Manuel da Costa after Bernard Mendy was sent off.
The result was enough to ensure both sides ended the day sitting outside the relegation zone.
A compelling game got off to an extraordinary start as West Ham scored twice inside the opening 11 minutes.
The tempo was set from the first minute as Cole, returning to the West Ham side from injury, broke free to set up Valon Behrami but Matt Duke easily saved.
Craig Fagan then forced a fine save out of Robert Green at the other end but referee Mark Clattenburg had already blown blew for a foul on Da Costa.
Hull were almost caught out as Junior Stanislas broke to tee-up Cole but Andy Dawson just got back to block his fierce shot.
The Tigers did not escape damage for long as Franco found space to head in Stanislas' cross from the resulting corner with five minutes on the clock.
Hull could have equalised moments later as Bullard and Jozy Altidore both had shots blocked in a goalmouth scramble but Fagan then stabbed wide.
It proved a costly miss for Hull as West Ham doubled their lead soon after.
Franco sent a speculative cross into the area but Collison got ahead of Dawson to meet it with a looping header that dropped over Duke.
Yet Hull, led by the effervescent Bullard, refused to let spirits drop and got back into the game thanks to a stroke of fortune after 26 minutes.
Altidore won a free-kick on the edge of the area and there was little on Bullard's mind other than shooting as he lined up the free-kick.
His initial effort appeared on target but it would not have found its way in had it not bounced up of Scott Parker and then skimmed Cole's head to arc over Green.
Hull then pressed for an equaliser and Bullard picked out Mendy with a superb crossfield pass but the Frenchman's effort was blocked by Danny Gabbidon.
West Ham did not hold out much longer and, remarkably, Hull were in front by half-time.
First Stephen Hunt clipped in a free-kick from the right and Zayatte turned unmarked to volley powerfully past Green.
West Ham were then stung again as Fagan went down easily under a challenge from Julien Faubert on the edge of the area.
Clattenburg pointed to the spot and Bullard smashed home to emphatically open his Hull account.
Despite the turnaround, the game was far from over and West Ham were given a way back in as Hull were reduced to 10 men after 53 minutes.
Clattenburg had no option other than to send Mendy off as he slid in to deny Parker a clear goalscoring opportunity.
Hull survived as Stanislas curled his shot wide from the resulting free-kick and Duke had to be alert when the same player tried his luck from distance.
West Ham were rewarded for a good spell of pressure when they pulled themselves level after 68 minutes as Hull failed to clear a corner and Da Costa blasted in from close range.
West Ham pushed for a winner but substitute Zavon Hines was booked for diving when he tangled with Dawson on the edge of the area after a strong run.
Hull's hearts were in their mouths when Luis Jimenez found an opening to shoot but he could only find the side-netting.
Hull wanted another penalty when Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink went down under a Matthew Upson challenge but Clattenburg played on.
Stanislas headed over a late chance for West Ham and Duke also saved from Collison as Hull held on.
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