Sheff Wed 2-2 Hull: Michael Dawson earns point for Tigers
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 02/12/17 6:18pm
Michael Dawson's last-gasp leveller for Hull may have preserved Leonid Slutsky's position as manager as they drew 2-2 at Sheffield Wednesday in Hillsborough.
The Russian has been on the brink at the Tigers for the last 10 days and his position looked like being even more precarious after Gary Hooper's second-half double for the Owls overturned Fraizer Campbell's early goal. But in the fifth minute of six added on, Hull, who had shown no second-half ambition, threw a ball into the box and an unmarked Dawson rolled the ball home at the far post.
The result will do little to ease the pressure on Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal, even though his side are now seven unbeaten. The Portuguese has come under fire in recent weeks and a turgid opening 45 minutes did little to appease the home fans, who exited en masse when Dawson levelled up.
Slutsky admitted he considered resigning after losing to Bristol City last week, but he would have been glad he stuck around as Hull enjoyed a good opening. Campbell had a fine chance to open the scoring early on when he blazed over at the far post, but it did not prove an expensive miss as the former Crystal Palace man fired the Tigers into a 21st-minute lead.
Neat play down the left saw Markus Henriksen play in Campbell, who cut inside and curled a low shot into the bottom corner for his fifth goal of the season. That was a big blow to Wednesday and they struggled for a response in a limp first-half display that saw their fans boo them off at the break.
Carvalhal introduced Jordan Rhodes and Kieran Lee at the restart in a bid to get back into the game and things were brighter, with Steven Fletcher bringing ironic cheers around the stadium when he managed a shot on target, firing straight at Allan McGregor.
The Owls upped the ante further and thought they had brought themselves level midway through the second period as Adam Reach ghosted into the area and hit the post from 12 yards, with Rhodes being denied on the rebound by a heroic block from Max Clark.
The pressure was incessant, though, and Hull eventually caved in with 20 minutes to go as Hooper lashed home from 10 yards. The linesman raised his flag for offside, but referee Michael Jones ruled that the last touch came off a Hull player and the goal stood.
There only looked like being one winner from there and Wednesday should have wrapped it up in the 82nd minute as they wasted three chances in the space of 10 seconds.
First Reach saw a shot blocked, sparking furious appeals for handball, Rhodes also saw an effort kept out and then Barry Bannan drilled a low effort just wide.
Hooper grabbed what everyone thought was going to be the winner in the 86th minute when he finished coolly at the far post but there was a twist as Dawson, given freedom in the area, equalised at the death.
Carlos Carvalhal: "I'm very upset, not about my players, because we did everything we had to do, not about myself because I did everything I had to do. But there was an unbelievable penalty, the defender acted like a goalkeeper, it is very clear. I am very upset because everything comes to me.
"With these kind of decisions, it's not just about the points. The fans are not happy with the score, we are not happy, the players are frustrated and it is not about the decision. We lose points, one point here, two points, one point, three points, two points in this case."
Leonid Slutsky: "I don't know about my future. Each match is very important for me, and it is very difficult for me to think about the future. We deserved a draw and deserved it for previous games because we have been unlucky and conceded late goals.
"I try to analyse the game and now I understand our problem because when we score a goal we stop trying to play and keep the lead and this is not our strength. We don't have a big forward and have the possibility to keep the ball. In the first half we played really well, we controlled the game and we scored. When we sit deeper it is very dangerous."