Hull City 0 Barnsley 1: Tigers dumped out of the FA Cup by battling Tykes
HULL City's hopes of an extended FA Cup run were dashed in familiar style as Barnsley claimed a 1-0 win at the KC Stadium to book their place in the fifth round this afternoon.
In a game of few clear-cut chances Chris Dagnall's 70th minute strike was all that separated the two Yorkshire rivals in the all-Championship fourth round tie.
Despite dominating possession for long periods of the contest, City's attacking deficiencies were laid bare as they were condemned to a meek fourth round exit for the second consecutive year.
While the hunt for promotion out of the Championship will provide some comfort for manager Steve Bruce, he will have taken little pleasure from seeing his side undone with few signs of fight.
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Bruce made his intentions to progress clear when naming something close to his strongest possible side. Only two changes were made from the 1-1 draw at Peterborough, with Eldin Jakupovic replacing the cup-tied David Stockdale and Seyi Olofinjana coming in for Jay Simpson.
The initial signs were promising as the Tigers enjoyed the better of the first half. Nick Proschwitz was first to threaten when he dragged Paul McShane's clever pass wide, while the popular defender almost grabbed a goal of his own when narrowly missing out on Robbie Brady's deep free-kick.
Brady's excellence from wide set-pieces brought another chance for Olofinjana but the Nigerian could not direct his header on target from eight yards out. A Robert Koren free-kick worked Luke Steele before City felt they should have won a penalty when Stephen Quinn went down under the challenge of Kelvin Etuhu.
Barnsley attacks, meanwhile, were few and far between. Although Eldin Jakupovic appeared uncomfortable under a couple of high balls, the closest the visitors came was from Etuhu's spectacular long-range effort on to the roof of the net.
The second half saw the wait for an opening goal prolonged further still. For Barnsley Marlon Harewood's low shot was comfortably saved by Jakupovic, while Brady's audacious free-kick from 35 yards out required Steele to tip over.
City's grip on the game had begun to loosen, however, and with 20 minutes remaining Barnsley were ahead. Although Eldin Jakupovic was superb to deny both Jim O'Brien and Scott Goulbourne in quick succession, Chris Dagnall was alert inside the area to sweep home a loose ball from close range.
Proschwitz's downward header at Steele was as close as the Tigers came to an equaliser as a disappointing January ended on another flat note. Bruce will hope for improvements from his side when they travel to Millwall in the Championship next weekend.