Wordsworth goal not enough for Blues as Koren heads home late winner to aid Hull's promotion push
Anthony Wordsworth’s first Town goal wasn’t enough as Blues slipped to a 2-1 defeat to Hull City at Portman Road.
The midfielder came off the bench to level the scores, after a Robbie Brady penalty had put the Tigers in front, before Robert Koren headed home a winner for the visitors with seven minutes remaining.
Mick McCarthy made two changes to his side, with Guirane N’Daw and Michael Chopra starting in place of Andy Drury and David McGoldrick.
Both teams were looking to take control of the game although the opening exchanges were pretty even, with the first piece of goalmouth action not arriving until the 19th minute with Scott Loach scrambling across his line to push away a Richard Stearman chested backpass.
The first attack at goal from Blues arrived in the 25th minute, with Daryl Murphy heading a Tommy Smith cross back across the face of goal but Chopra was unable to get any connection on the loose ball and David Stockdale gathered the ball.
But the game was to take a huge twist two minutes later, as referee Oliver Langford awarded the visitors a penalty when David Meyler was sent sprawling in the box by Guirane N’Daw.
Midfielder Brady stepped up and slotted the ball into the bottom corner, sending Loach the wrong way.
The former Manchester United man then forced a smart save out of Loach on the stroke of half-time, with the Blues stopper pushing away his left-footed drive.
Almost 22,000 fans were inside Portman Road and the atmosphere was soon cranked up a notch as Town drew level nine minutes after the restart.
Luke Chambers clipped the ball back into the Hull area, after the Tigers had initially cleared their lines, and Wordsworth was on hand to power home a header at the back-post.
It represented a first Town goal for the January signing from Colchester and the midfielder ran straight to the bench to celebrate with physio Matt Byard, who had helped him recovery from his back injury.
Blues were beginning to get on top but the visitors did go close to retaking the lead after 66 minutes, with that man Brady again causing problems but his drive flashed just wide of Loach’s goal.
However Town were in the ascendency and Murphy twice went close to firing Blues in front.
First the Celtic loanee flashed a shot just wide of Stockdale’s goal before then seeing the ‘keeper make a fine low stop to deny him minutes later.
However Steve Bruce’s side stunned Town with a second goal just seven minutes from time. Wordsworth failed to clear Brady’s cross and the Irishman was allowed a second bite of the cherry to pick out Koren, who headed home from close range.
That was the way it stayed as Blues suffered a first defeat in six games despite a spirited performance.
Town: Loach, Stearman, Chambers, Smith, Cresswell, Edwards, Hyam, N’Daw, Tabb (Wordsworth 45), Chopra (Nouble 79), Murphy (Emmanuel-Thomas 86). Subs not used: Lee-Barrett, Hewitt, Kisnorbo, Drury.
Hull: Stockdale, Chester, Hobbs, Faye, Brady, Elmohamady, Meyler, Evans (Fathi 68), Quinn, Simpson (Koren 74), Boyd (Fryatt 88). Subs not used: Jakupovic, Rosenior, Cairey, Proschwitz.
Att: 21,988 (1,028 visiting fans)