Aaron Connolly scored twice and had a hand in a third as Hull City ended a three-match winless run with a victory over Queens Park Rangers.
The on-loan Brighton striker opened his account just 10 minutes into his third Championship appearance for the Tigers and added another in the second half, with Rangers defender Rob Dickie putting through his own goal in between.
The defeat stretched the west London club’s run without a win to seven games, including an FA Cup exit at the hands of Fleetwood Town.
Connolly, celebrating his 23rd birthday, made the most of a chance presented to him by Cyrus Christie, the wing-back driving into the box before teeing up his team-mate for a shot that rocketed into the roof of the net.
Rangers had a spell of dominance either side of half-time but could not find the equalizer and just after the hour mark Hull struck again.
Connolly freed Ozan Tufan on the wing, and his cross – aimed at striker Oscar Estupinan – cannoned off Dickie and into the net.
Connolly grabbed his second as he raced clear of the defense to pick up a pass from Jean Michael Seri and slip his shot past Seny Dieng.
Dickie almost made amends for his own goal with an attempt at the far post, but Hull keeper Matt Ingram pulled off a fine block to keep his clean sheet.
The win was Hull’s first at home since 5 October, ending a run of three draws and four defeats in the league, and an FA Cup loss to Fulham, in front of their own fans.
Hull boss Liam Rosenior told BBC Radio Humberside:
“Aaron won’t get top marks from me – he missed the first chance. He’s someone I have loved for a long time – I’ve known him since he was 16 and I know what he is capable of. He is an angry fellow and you have to know how to manage him to get the best out of him.
“He’s had a difficult career, he’s 23 today and he’s learned from it. I’ve learned from mistakes in life, and he’s willing to accept that.
“He’s a Hull City player and showed exactly what this club is about – how hard he worked for the team. He chased lost causes, held the ball up and the fans will enjoy having him at the club.
“To celebrate in front of your home fans for the first time in what seems like an eternity is the really pleasing thing, but it’s been coming with the performance levels being the way they’ve been.
“At Sheffield United we played very well against a good side and didn’t get our reward. I’m delighted with every single player in the squad because they are all giving everything for the cause.”
QPR boss 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. We 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. What’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.”
- 33ChristieSubstituted forSimonsat 90′minutes
- 7TufanSubstituted forWoodsat 75′minutes
- 24SeriousSubstituted forLongmanat 75′minutes
- 44ConnollySubstituted forCoyleat 84′minutes
- 19EstupiñánSubstituted forSmithat 89′minutes
- 3DunneBooked at 90mins
- 22PaalSubstituted forClarke-Salterat 45+3′minutes
- 47IroegbunamBooked at 40minsSubstituted forDozzellat 45′minutes
- 15fieldSubstituted forJohansenat 75′minutes
- 37AdomahSubstituted forArmstrongat 45′minutesBooked at 67mins
- 11robertsSubstituted forWillockat 79′minutes
- 18LoweBooked at 20mins
- James Linington
Match ends, Hull City 3, Queens Park Rangers 0.
Second Half ends, Hull City 3, Queens Park Rangers 0.
Jimmy Dunne (Queens Park Rangers) is shown the yellow card.
Substitution, Hull City. Xavier Simons replaces Cyrus Christie.
Substitution, Hull City. Tyler Smith replaces Oscar Estupiñán.
Seny Dieng (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Alfie Jones (Hull City).
Attempt saved. Greg Docherty (Hull City) header from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Sean McLoughlin.
Corner, Hull City. Granted by Jimmy Dunne.
Substitution, Hull City. Lewie Coyle replaces Aaron Connolly.
Attempt blocked. Sean McLoughlin (Hull City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ryan Longman.
Corner, Hull City. Granted by Andre Dozzell.
Sinclair Armstrong (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Alfie Jones (Hull City).
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Substitution, Queens Park Rangers. Chris Willock replaces Tyler Roberts because of an injury.
Delay in match (Queens Park Rangers).
Attempt blocked. Jamal Lowe (Queens Park Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Andre Dozzell.
Substitution, Hull City. Ryan Longman replaces Jean Michaël Seri.
Substitution, Queens Park Rangers. Stefan Johansen replaces Sam Field.