2015/16: Capital One Cup Second Round – Hull City v Rochdale

Following a first visit to Brunton Park in the Capital Cup First Round, the Second Round also afforded the chance to tick another venue off the list of grounds attended, with a trip to the KC Stadium, the home of Hull City.

Both City and their opponents tonight, Rochdale, only made it into the Second Round after winning through on penalties. Hull emerged victors 4-3 away at Accrington Stanley, whilst Rochdale beat fellow League One side Coventry City 5-3 at Spotland.

Hull City manager Steve Bruce made nine changes to his starting line-up from the weekend loss at Charlton Athletic with only David Meyler and Andrew Robertson retained. The most significant change saw the return from a long-term injury of Mohamed Diame.

Dale manager Keith Hill made only two changes from the squad that drew 0-0 at Chesterfield with Andy Cannon and Reuben Noble-Lazarus coming in.

Despite the number of changes the home team settled quickest and had the first real opportunity of the game when Ryan Taylor fired a free-kick over the bar. However, it wasn’t long before the City faithful had a goal to cheer. On nine minutes Abel Hernandez played in Greg Luer who expertly slotted home past Rochdale keeper Lillis.

Hull though didn’t capitalise on their bright start and despite the energy of Diame in midfield, weren’t able to punish the visitors. Indeed it was Rochdale who looked more composed as the first-half continued with neat possession football that saw chances created for Ian Henderson, Cannon and Noble-Lazarus.

The lethargy from the home-side seemed to affect the majority of the 10,430 crowd who were muted in their response as the players left the pitch at half-time with the Tigers holding onto their 1-0 advantage.

Hull started the better at the beginning of the second-half and Hernandez had an early chance, but put it over the bar. However, as with the opening forty five minutes, it was the visitors who came stronger into the game dominating possession.

Despite seeing plenty of the balls, Rochdale didn’t create any clear-cut opportunities, although there were half-chances for Calvin Andrew, Lewis Alessandra and Cannon. Hull though had a glorious chance to kill off the game late-on, but Hernandez managed to fire wide after a tantalising cross from substitute Ahmed Elmohamady.

At the whistle, Hull had managed to maintain their 1-0 lead and progress to the Third Round and a home tie with Swansea City. Rochdale though will have considered themselves unlucky not to have taken the game to extra-time based on their possession.

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In terms of my impression of the KC Stadium, it was unspectacular from the outside, as most new-builds are, but it was good to see that had an attempt had been made to break up the plain exterior with a series of fresco’s featuring greats from Hull City and the rugby league legends of Hull FC (who also play at the KC Stadium).

Internally, the layout reminded me of Rotherham United’s New York Stadium, with a larger main stand sweeping down and round to the remaining three stands.

With the ground less than half-full it was difficult to assess the atmosphere and intensity that a packed KC Stadium would generate.