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Match Report: Hull City 1-0 Bolton Wanderers

Wanderers go three months without a win in a dire game at promotion chasing Hull

Neil Danns went closest to scoring for Bolton at Hull yesterday as his second half shot hit the post
Neil Danns went closest to scoring for Bolton at Hull yesterday as his second half shot hit the post
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Neil Lennon's Bolton Wanderers extended their winless streak to three months and 14 matches as they suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat at Hull City.

A first half goal from Arsenal loanee Chuba Akpom was enough to sink Wanderers, who never really threatened to get back into a match that was there for the taking against an off colour Hull.

Lennon switched to a 3-5-2 formation and Wanderers looked solid enough at the back, with youngster Rob Holding putting in an excellent performance at the back that showed up the senior professionals ahead of him in the side. But once again they lacked any sort of creativity and carried minimal threat in forward positions.

The first half saw very few chances created by either side, but Hull typically took full advantage of their first opportunity as Akpom put them in front on 19 minutes. Prince had done well to clear Ahmed Elmohamady's goal-bound effort off the line, only to see Akpom slam home the follow-up.

Hull should have doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time, but Sam Clucas somehow conspired to fire over from close range after latching onto Elmohamady's cross.

Jay Spearing came on for the disappointing Darren Pratley, who was apparently injured, at half-time, and Wanderers were nearly on level terms straight after the break. Mark Davies finally showed a glimpse of what his game should be about as he burst forward from midfield to slip in Neil Danns, who was unlucky not to bring the scores level as he saw his strike bounce back off the near post.

That was the closest either side came to scoring in the second half with Wanderers struggling to trouble the Hull defence. Dean Moxey hit a tame shot wide, Emile Heskey curled a shot narrowly wide and Stephen Dobbie saw a long range effort saved by Alan McGregor, but it wasn't to be for the visitors.

The clash with Hull typified Wanderers' season, with a huge lack of quality in the final third. The lone striker in Lennon's system stands no chance, even if they were a good striker, given the lack of support from midfield. Mark Davies doesn't have an assist or a goal this campaign and has only scored three goals in his last 51 appearances for the club - all of which are against Brentford. He looks like a shadow of the player we signed back in 2009, while Darren Pratley has reverted to the terrible form we became accustomed to seeing before one short spell of form this time last year.

Lennon has to find a way to get more out of these midfielders if we are to have a chance of finding form and climbing off the bottom of the table to safety. The fact that Liam Feeney is both our top goalscorer, with just four goals, and top assist maker, with just two, tells the whole story.

The manager's post-match comments did little to enthuse supporters that change is coming anytime soon, either on the pitch or off it. When asked by the BBC whether he is still the right man to lead the club, he said:

"Maybe not, I don't know. I think I am. It is a results-driven business so one win in 20 is not great reading.

"We have to recover from this and we need to find a recipe for creating chances, because we have plenty of the ball but are wasteful in the final third."

Wanderers face a trip to south east London on Tuesday night to face Charlton Athletic, who are one place outside the relegation zone and five points ahead of Bolton. Just as concerning as the lack of form is that Bolton may be missing both Pratley and Shola Ameobi through injury - which could mean Heskey will have to start up front.