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16:53 7th August 2010

Final: Hull 2 Swans 0

Swansea City tasted defeat on the opening day of the new Championship campaign as goals from John Bostock and Ian Ashbee earned Hull a 2-0 victory. There wasn't much between the two sides at the KC Stadium, but it was a 35-yard stunner after 24 minutes from Spurs loan signing Bostock that paved the way for Tigers glory following their relegation from the Premier League. Swansea's cause wasn't helped by the late withdrawal of defender Angel Rangel who aggravated a leg injury in the warm up. Hull City: Duke, Zayatte, Dawson, Ashbee (c), Gardner, Garcia, Kilbane, Bostock, Cairney, Atkinson, Solano. Subs: Oxley (GK), McShane, Olofinjana, Barmby, Devitt, Cullen, Cousin. Swansea City: de Vries, Rangel, Tate, Monk (c), Williams, Pratley, Lopez, Gower, Dyer, Cotterill, Dobbie. Subs: Cornell (GK) Serran, Orlandi, Kuqi, Pintado, Taylor, Gun. Referee: Mr M. Russell. Att: 21,478 The Swans were forced into a late change when Angel Rangel pulled up in the warm up with a reoccurrence of a leg injury. He was replaced at right-back by Albert Serran. Around 1,000 Swans fans behind Dorus de Vries' goal watched the Swans make a good start as the Dutch 'keeper confidently took a deep cross from danger-man Richard Garcia. At the other end, Nathan Dyer looked lively down the right as he helped set up Swansea's first chance after six minutes when his pass found Ashley Williams. The defender picked out Mark Gower on the edge of the area, but the midfielder couldn't connect properly to test Matt Duke in the Hull goal. With 10 minutes on the clock, Gower found Darren Pratley and his pass sent Stephen Dobbie racing clear only for the linesman's offside flag to halt his progress. Three minutes later and Gower showed his pass down the left, cutting inside before firing a right-foot shot just wide of the far post. Swansea were passing the ball around well at that stage - and looking good. But they were kept on their toes with 18 minutes gone as John Bostock unleashed a fierce shot from 25 yards which skidded inches wide of de Vries' far post to lift the home crowd. Swansea came even closer at the other end as Pratley was brought down on the edge of the area by Solano, who earned the first yellow card of the game after 21 minutes. David Coterill stepped up to the free-kick to curl a super effort over the wall but onto the top of the Hull crossbar. Swansea were rocked back on their heels in the 24th minute though when Hull took the lead in spectacular fashion. John Bostock picked up the ball just inside the area before driving forward and unleashing an unstoppable shot into the top corner from 35 yards. It was a goal worthy of the Premiership as Bostock was booked for his topless celebrations. The Swans were rocking a bit now as Anthony Gardner headed a Garcia corner just over. After finding their feet, Swansea should have equalised in the 29th minute when Cotterill picked out Pratley with an inch-perfect cross. But the midfielder glanced his diving header wide from eight yards out. Good battling by Cotterill on the stroke of half-time saw the winger rob Kamil Zayatte deep in the Hull half. Cotterill found Dobbie in support with his pass, but the striker saw his shot easily saved by Duke. Half-time: Hull 1 Swans 0 There were no changes from either side for the start of the second-half as the Swans looked to claw their way back into the game. Dyer soon broke clear down the right after some neat skill to beat Andy Dawson, but his dangerous cross was cleared to the edge of the area where Alan Tate's follow up was blocked. But disaster struck in the 50th minute when Serran conceded a corner which Garcia swung in to the far post. De Vries came and missed it under pressure and skipper Ian Ashbee fired home from close range. Swansea made a double change on the hour as Andrea Orlandi replaced Gower and Shefki Kuqi came on for Dobbie up front as the visitors had a mountain to climb to get something out of the encounter. In fact, it was Hull who nearly extended their lead as Tom Cairney headed a Solano cross over the bar. Swansea weren't prepared to throw in the towel, however, as good work from Dyer enabled Cotterill to deliver a dangerous cross to the far post. Pratley met it with a good header which was blocked on the line before Kuqi blasted into the side netting with 26 minutes remaining. Then Pratley and Tate combined well to win a corner which eventually found its way to Williams out wide. He found Dyer who worked a neat one-two with Pratley before the winger raced into the box before Hull cleared the danger with Dyer appealing for a penalty. Hull made their first change of the afternoon as Will Atkinson was replaced by Jamie Devitt. Swansea followed suit with 20 minutes remaining as Rodgers went for broke by throwing Gorka Pintado up alongside Kuqi at the expense of Jordi Lopez in a 4-2-4 formation. It nearly worked as a great build up saw Cotterill flash a 25-yard shot just over in the 75th minute. Hull then replaced Garcia with Mark Cullen as the clock ticked down and Pintado fired a Kuqi flick on wide. In the end, time ran out on Swansea. Team News Swans boss Brendan Rodgers went with an attacking 4-3-3 formation for this Championship opener at Hull's KC Stadium. Dorus de Vries started in goal with Angel Rangel, linked him with a move to Premier League Blackpool, at right-back. "Angel has trained well all week and is fully focussed on Swansea City,'' said Rodgers. "He has had a smile on his face all week, which is good because he is a big player for us.'' Alan Tate continued at left-back with skipper Garry Monk and Ashley Williams in the heart of the defence. It was the centre of midfield where Rodgers had the toughest decisions to make. And with Leon Britton now a Sheffield United player, Spaniard Jordi Lopez was given the responsibility as the holding midfielder. In front of him was the influential Darren Pratley and the experienced Mark Gower. Out wide was David Coterill, who celebrated the birth of his new daughter this week, and the tricky Nathan Dyer. There was a welcome return up front for Stephen Dobbie who was given a huge vote of confidence by Swansea's new manager after being sent out on loan to promoted Blackpool at the end of last season. "It's a fresh start for me,'' said Dobbie. "The fans have seen me score goals for Blackpool and now I want them to see me score for Swansea. I'm confident I can score goals in the Championship.' And with Swansea scoring just 40 goals last season, Dobbie has a vital role to play to compliment the club's mean defence at the other end. For Hull, who were relegated from the Premier League last season, Nolberto Solano and John Bostock both make their league debuts as new manager Nigel Pearson takes charge of his first game with the Tigers. Solano was joined by Anthony Gardner, Kamil Zayatte and Andy Dawson in the back four which protects goalkeeper Matt Duke. Bostock, signed on loan from Spurs yesterday, will play ahead of a midfield four consisting of Ian Ashbee, Tom Cairney, Kevin Kilbane and Will Atkinson. Richard Garcia was handed a role in attack, while Ashbee captains the side on his competitive return in a 4-4-2 formation.
    Data provided by Press Association