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Report: Blues 3 Hull City 3

Battling Blues maintained their proud unbeaten home record six minutes from time courtesy of Adams again. The powerful forward capped a tireless display to grab his third and earn a point for his side, as well as a matchball for his souvenir collection.

BCFC.COM

Che Adams recorded his first Football League hat-trick to earn Blues a point after a topsy-turvy encounter with Hull City.

Adams had the hosts in control by the break, punishing two mistakes from the visitors to bag a first-half brace. But the Tigers came roaring back in the second period, evergreen front man Fraizer Campbell claiming his own two-goal haul before Kamil Grosicki completed the turnaround.

But battling Blues maintained their proud unbeaten home record six minutes from time courtesy of Adams again. The powerful forward capped a tireless display to grab his third and a point for his side, as well as a matchball for his souvenir collection.            

Youngster Charlie Lakin got the manager’s nod to replace the suspended Gary Gardner in the centre of Blues' midfield, in the only change from the team that lost at Derby County last time out.

A quickly-taken throw-in almost led to the opening goal on five minutes. Jota collected the ball on halfway and ran at the Tigers defence before unleashing a shot from just outside the area. The Spaniard didn’t make as sweet a connection with the ball as he’d have liked and his effort veered narrowly wide of David Marshall’s left-hand post.   

The visitors’ first real effort of note came on 20 minutes when Jarrod Bowen picked up the ball on the right and fired in a shot that curled a couple of yards wide of the left post.  

Hull centre-half Tommy Elphick could consider himself rather fortunate to still be on the pitch after twice bringing down Lukas Jutkiewicz from behind with raking tackles early on, only the first was punished with a yellow card.

But, on 21 minutes, Blues were indebted to the on-loan Aston Villa man for inadvertently providing the assist for Monk’s men to open the scoring. Elphick’s under-hit back-pass gave the ball straight to Adams who rounded Marshall before tapping into an empty net.    

Lee Camp had to be alert at the other end to keep out another Bowen effort, a first-time volley that the Blues keeper saved sharply with his legs.

Blues were forced into an early change midway through the first period, Jota leaving the action through injury to be replaced by Viv Solomon-Otabor.

The fingertips of Marshall denied Blues a chance to double their lead on 37 minutes, Harlee Dean’s cleverly dinked cross to the back post was heading for Jutkiewicz before the Hull keeper leapt high to make a vital intervention with the Blues striker waiting to pounce behind him. The ball looked to have gone out of play when Jutkiewicz tried to nod it back towards goal, but the referee awarded a goal-kick.

Adams’ celebration for his first goal took out the corner flag and the delay it took to be replaced was the main reason for four minutes of stoppage-time at the end of the first period. And, ironically, the additional time allowed Adams to double his tally before heading into the dressing room.

Blues’ second goal again came gift-wrapped from the opponents. This time it was a mistake by Jordy de Wijs that handed the ball to Adams and the home number nine, now oozing with confidence, advanced to the edge of the box and fired a fierce low shot into the bottom left corner of the Tigers net.   

Hull made a change in personnel at half-time, bringing on striker Chris Martin for defensive midfielder Daniel Batty – an attacking switch that saw them match up to their hosts’ 4-4-2 formation.

The more offensive approach paid dividends within five minutes of the restart, Campbell emphatically prodding the ball into the net from Grosicki’s low cross to register his third goal in as many games.

And the in-form ex-Manchester United youngster made it four in three matches to level matters as the Tigers completed their comeback on the hour. Grosicki swung a free-kick into the box and the experienced striker showed his predatory instinct again by being in the right place to snaffle up a chance after Camp had parried away the first shot.  

Blues looked to respond straightaway, Solomon-Otabor forcing his way through a packed Hull penalty area and getting in a shot that was deflected wide for a corner. From the resultant flag kick, Jutkiewicz ghosted in at the back stick and his header was clawed onto the inside of the post by Marshall, the ball bouncing away to safety.

Monk shuffled his pack again on 64 minutes, Craig Gardner making his return from injury in place of Lakin and Harding coming on for fellow sub Solomon-Otabor.     

A bad second-half got worse for Blues on 73 minutes when Hull turned the game completely around and took the lead in spectacular style, Grosicki cracking a fine free-kick into the top corner from 25 yards.  

The Polish international had a good chance to add to his tally soon afterwards but skied a shot high into the Gil Merrick Stand from eight yards out.

It had been a half-an-hour to forget for Blues but the hosts showed good character to battle back and rescue a point from the game. Adams snatched his third goal of the game, taking advantage of another defensive lapse from Hull to fire a loose ball into the net after a goalmouth melee.  

“We’re Birmingham City, we’ll fight to the end,” sang the Tilton Road fans. And indeed they had.  

Blues (4-4-2): Camp; Colin, Morrison, Dean, Pedersen; Jota (Solomon-Otabor 23 (Harding 64), Kieftenbeld, Lakin (C Gardner 64), Mahoney; Jutkiewicz, Adams.  
Substitutes (not used): Roberts, Lubala, Bogle, Trueman.
Goal: Adams (21, 45+4, 84)
Bookings: Morrison (90+2)

Hull (4-1-4-1): Marshall; Burke, Elphick, De Wijs, Lichaj; Batty (Martin h/t); Grosicki (Kane 81), Irvine, Henriksen, Bowen; Campbell (Keane 78).  
Substitutes (not used): Mazuch, Kane, Stewart, McKenzie, Long.
Goal: Campbell (50, 61), Grosicki (73)
Bookings: Elphick (12), Irvine (36), Lichaj (81)

Attendance: 21,468 (654 away)

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