Sone's delight as Hull City beat Birmingham 3-2 to end St Andrew's hoodoo
HULL City ended a 42-year wait for an away win over Birmingham City as they hung on for a spirited 3-2 victory this afternoon.
Sone Aluko was the star of the show as he returned to haunt his boyhood club with two goals inside the first half.
James Chester's first goal of the season had the Tigers leading 3-0 soon after the half-hour mark in a breathless attacking display, to delight Steve Bruce on his return to St Andrew's.
A volley from Ravel Morrison and a strike from Marlon King either side of half-time set up a fraught finale, but City hung for three precious points.
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City's 10th win of the season was designed in a majestic opening third.
The warning signs were there from the outset when Robert Koren's perfectly-weighted pass carved open the Birmingham defence after just five minutes. The pass begged for a fitting finish from Aluko but he could only fire at the legs of goalkeeper Jack Butland.
It was the chance Aluko had dreamt of back at St Andrew's for the first time since leaving as a 19-year-old but he was quick to make amends with two goals inside 12 first half minutes.
The game's opening goal again owed everything to the pass of Koren and when he again found Aluko, he made no mistake when rounding Butland and tapping in from six yards out.
Aluko's second, and eighth of the campaign, was another classy goal. Simpson was alert to a Birmingham mistake inside the centre circle and his strike partner did the assist justice with a lethal finish.
City were not done there, either. Aluko's right-wing corner was met by the leap of James Chester and the header was unstoppable to make it 3-0 after just 33 minutes.
Birmingham supporters voiced their displeasure at the relentless flow towards their goal and managed to rally the home side before the break.
Nikola Zigic, whose towering frame was causing problems for the City defence, nodded down for Ravel Morrison and the teenager produced a spectacular volley past the helpless Ben Amos.
The Tigers weathered the home side's pressure before the break but undid their good work within 20 seconds of the re-start.
Poor defending allowed King time and space to shoot and he duly drilled into the bottom corner to haul Birmingham within touching distance of their previously rampant guests.
Chances for both teams were few and far between for much of the second half as the Tigers attempted to hang on to their slender lead. Anxiety crept into the
City ranks at times but a strong rearguard action doggedly kept Birmingham at bay.
Substitute Aaron Mclean came close when heading over late on but it was an uncostly miss as City hung on for a splendid victory.
A return to winning ways keeps City in fourth ahead of home games with Burnley and Crystal Palace in the next 10 days.