Aaron Connolly scored twice on his 23rd birthday to help end Hull’s near four-month wait for a home win in the 3-0 victory against QPR.
Connolly, on loan from Brighton until the end of the season, played a significant role in his side’s first win at the MKM Stadium since beating Wigan on October 5.
The Republic of Ireland international opened the scoring after 10 minutes before adding a second with a cute finish in the 65th minute.
QPR were already 2-0 down by then after Rob Dickie deflected Ozan Tufan’s right-sided cross into his own net three minutes before Connolly had doubled his tally.
The visitors were poor throughout as their winless run in all competitions extended to seven matches.
Hull flew out of the traps and deservedly charged into an early lead.
Connolly, who went close minutes earlier with an opportunistic hit that screwed wide of the right post, will be indebted to the work of Cyrus Christie in the build-up his first goal.
Christie batted his way into the 18-yard box before squaring the ball towards the penalty spot from the right. Connolly had work to do, but he made things look very simple with a deft, looping finish over Seny Dieng.
Hull might, and perhaps should, have gone for the jugular in the first half as QPR were rattled and disjointed.
The home side’s endeavors nonetheless led to another good chance after 32 minutes when Christie shot across the face of goal from a similar position to which he created the opening goal.
Dieng’s parry was unconvincing, with Hull forward Oscar Estupinan narrowly thwarted on the rebound by Dickie’s late lunge.
Furious QPR manager Neil Critchley, whose cause was not helped by a first-half injury to Kenneth Paal, brought on Sinclair Armstrong and Andre Dozzell at the break.
Rangers marginally improved thereafter, but surely nowhere near to the level at which Critchley was hoping.
They never came within a sniff of equalizing until the 55th minute when Armstrong’s bustling charge-and-cross into the six-yard box on the right was astutely dealt with by defender Alfie Jones.
It was, though, little wonder that home fans then grew increasingly nervous given their club’s desperate home form.
But they need not have worried – especially once the unfortunate Dickie could do little other than deflect Tufan’s zipped cross into the back of his own net.
And with QPR devoid of ideas and structure, Connolly ably put the game to bed with a tidy finish off Jean Michael Seri’s long ball through the middle.
The game was over as a contest from there on in, with Connolly utterly deserving of a standing ovation when he was substituted late on in what was a surprisingly one-sided match.
Hull’s Liam Rosenior:
“I’ve known him since he was a kid and I love him. If he misses the first chance he’ll take the second one. His timing and movement is so good and he’s showed exactly why I wanted to bring him to the club He’ll be the first to admit he’s made mistakes, but you’ve got to remember that he’s just 23.
“He’s emotional at times and when he first came to the club, he was on his best behaviour. But I didn’t want that, I wanted him to be himself. I believe in him. He’s a natural. I think he’s a Hull City player and embodies what this club is about.”
QPR’s Neil Critchley:
“We were miles off. Our start to the game was passive at best – in and out of possession. Out of possession, we were nowhere good enough. Once the game settled down we did better, but it was still not good enough. Possibly the only positive at half-time was that it was 1-0 mWe started the second half better but then we conceded an awful goal, a horrible goal.
“If you look at the recent history of this football club, it’s quite clear to me that a few things need to change. mWhat’s the saying? ‘Either the people change or you change the people’. It’s nothing to do with tactics or ability but when it’s hard, we lack the certain basics of football. When the going gets tough you need people to stand up and do the ugly side of the game better than we do. It’s a challenge. I enjoy a challenge, but it’s quite clear to me where this team need improving. We need to change and we need to change quickly.”