Hakeeb Adelakun and Greg Docherty scored the goals as Hull City won for the first time in four league matches to move up to second in Sky Bet League One. The Tigers won 2-0 but could have won by a much higher margin. Charlton Athletic's afternoon was compounded by having Darren Pratley sent off for an apparent petulant kick in the direction of Mallik Wilks, which the linesman and the referee deliberated over for a while before sending the veteran off.
Story of the match
As the game got underway at a fairly fast pace, both teams struggled to maintain possession in the first few minutes of the game. Mallik Wilks won the first corner of the game on four minutes, and the returning George Honeyman's good delivery was just headed over the bar by Alfie Jones who was also returning after a number of games out.
There was a blow for the visitors just before the ten minute mark, as Ben Watson was forced to come off due to injury. Alex Gilby replaced him in midfield. The game continued in a fragmented fashion, with the referee giving various free kicks for seemingly minor infringements throughout the opening 15 minutes.
On 18 minutes, Hull City went in front. Jacob Greaves recycled a ball that he intercepted, and played down the line for Mallik Wilks. He beat the offside trap and shot at goal. Ben Amos could only spill the ball into the path of Hakeeb Adelakun, who tapped home with ease. This was Hull City's first goal since Tom Eaves' winner against Doncaster Rovers back on 2nd December.
Charlton didn't look comfortable at the back and they had Amos to thank for keeping it 1-0 soon after - he saved from Wilks and Eaves, with the latter heading towards goal after a well-worked free kick routine. Hull have been profligate at times in front of goal this season however, and needed to start taking their chances to get some breathing space away from the visiting side.
Both Hull and Charlton had chances to score as the 35th minute approached, but neither keepers really tested as the game heated up slightly. Honeyman and Richie Smallwood were in the thick of things in midfield for the Tigers and were strong in their challenges - Ian Maatsen coming off worse on more than one occasion. Wilks went very close on 38 minutes with a shot that was goal-bound - but a deflection saw it loop away for a corner. Honeyman's shot went just wide soon after.
George Long was called into action from a free kick, saving well from Jake Forester-Caskey as tempers flared soon after. Gilbey shoved Honeyman in the box and the referee had to speak to both sets of players and managers. Tom Eaves should have scored as the game moved into added time, but blazed his effort over the bar. A feisty affair came to an end as the half time whistle went soon after, with both sides needing to calm down as multiple cards were likely by that point.
Paul Smyth replaced Omar Bogle at the start of the second half with Lee Bowyer's side looking to get back into the game quickly. Charlton had much of the ball, but the first chance came for the home side when a counter attack led by Greg Docherty led to the Scotsman firing a shot straight at Amos on 49 minutes. A superb run from Josh Emmanuel should have seen the right back have a go himself, but he tried squaring the ball for Wilks and Charlton managed to clear.
Charlton felt they should have had a penalty after Darren Pratley went to ground after a corner, but the referee remained unmoved. Albie Morgan was replaced by Jonathan Williams for Charlton on the hour mark with Grant McCann not using a substitution up until that point. Drama was to come, though - Darren Pratley received a straight red card for kicking Wilks off the ball, leaving the away side a man down and with a mountain to climb.
Both sides were cautious after, with the referee's whistle heard throughout. Keane Lewis-Potter came on and Hull eventually made it two after great work from Honeyman saw Wilks' header come off the bar before eventually Docherty smashing home saw wild celebrations. Akelakun and Honeyman were withdrawn on 77 minutes with Thomas Mayer and Regan Slater entering the fray.
In the end, it was comfortable for the Tigers as Charlton resorted to pulls, fouls and general complaining to the referee as the game was brought to a close. Lee Bowyer will be disappointed with his side's response to going a goal behind and will look to forget this game quickly.
Takeaways from the match
Hull back to winning ways
Hull hadn't scored in three home games in all competitions, but they were very much the dominant side in this match. They had missed George Honeyman in midfield, and despite a number of enforced changes for the home side they looked comfortable for most of the game, running out 2-0 winners in the end. Tom Eaves could and should have scored a brace in the first half and Grant McCann will want his side to take more of their chances in upcoming fixtures.
Pratley's moment of madness costs Addicks
At 1-0, Charlton always looked in the game. That was, however, until Mallik Wilks was kicked off the ball by Pratley. The linesman saw it, spoke to the referee and after some deliberation, he was shown a straight red card. That left Charlton exposed to Hull's counter attacks and in truth it should have been much worse for the away side in regard to the scoreline.
Greg Docherty and George Honeyman were outstanding throughout, particularly the latter's driving force in midfield that was missed in the Tiger's defeats before Christmas. Brandon Fleming - in for Callum Elder - was also excellent throughout, and almost scored a free kick in the final ten minutes that would have been a superb effort.
Hull City: Long; Emmanuel, Jones, Graves, Fleming; Smallwood, Docherty, Honeyman; Adelakun, Wilks, Eaves.
Substitutions: Ingram, Coyle, Batty, McLoughlin, Slater, Lewis-Potter, Mayer.
Charlton Athletic: Amos; Gunter, Pearce, Pratley, Matthews; Forster-Caskey, Maatsen, Watson; Morgan, Bogle, Washington.
Substitutions: Maynard-Brewer, Purrington, Oshilaja, Williams, Gilbey, Maddison, Smyth.