The Tigers’ Under-23 side ended the season as runners up in the Professional Development League following a 3-1 defeat against Sheffield Wednesday in the Play-Off Final at Hillsborough on Friday night.
Jon Beale made just one change to the side that qualified for the final with a penalty shoot-out victory at Charlton Athletic just four days earlier. Brandon Fleming came in at left back with Josh Tymon pushing forward to replace Jarrod Bowen. Keeper Charlie Andrew started his third game in the space of just 96 hours having also featured in the East Riding Senior Cup Final against Bridlington Town on Wednesday night.
The Owls started the game strongly and a great run and cross from left back Matt Penney somehow evaded three Wednesday players in the box. The full back then hit a free kick tamely wide but the hosts were ahead as early as the ninth minute. George Hirst was on the end of a Jack Stobbs corner and his shot looped up and over Andrew and dropped into the net.
Hirst, who had netted a hat trick against the Tigers at North Ferriby earlier in the season, got his second of this game when he doubled his side’s lead in the 24th minute. He held off a couple of challenges, advanced into the box and fired a right foot shot low past Andrew.
The Tigers had yet to really threaten the Owls goal but when they finally did they were unlucky not to reduce the deficit. Greg Luer latched onto Max Clark’s through ball and rounded Wednesday keeper Cameron Dawson only to see his shot cleared off the line by Jordan Thorniley.
Clark’s left foot shot from outside the box flew narrowly wide whilst at the other end Liam Williams headed over from a Stobbs corner.
The Tigers got themselves back in the game just before half time. Fleming’s run was halted when he was brought down in the box and although Dawson got a hand to Robbie McKenzie’s 42nd minute penalty he couldn’t keep it out of the net.
Beale made a change during the break with Jonathan Edwards replacing Luer. Clark headed wide from Dan Batty’s corner whilst for Wednesday Penney’s free kick was comfortably saved by Andrew before the hosts restored their two goal lead in the 64th minute. Williams was on the end of a Penney corner and his header found the back of the net.
Edwards saw a right foot shot pushed away by Dawson who then coped similarly with Greg Olley’s low strike. Edwards then did well to create an opening for himself but once again Dawson saved.
Hirst could have completed his hat trick for the Owls but a good save low to his left from Andrew denied him. Franck Betra saw a close range header blocked and as the Tigers threw players forward in the hope of pulling a goal back the same player found himself with a four on one advantage but the Owls substitute opted not to pass and was denied by Andrew.
However, the Owls had already done enough and it was skipper Stobbs who lifted the silverware after the final whistle.
Sheffield Wednesday: Cameron Dawson, Elliot Percival (Franck Betra 79), Matt Penney, Connor Kirby, Liam Williams, Jordan Thorniley, Jack Stobbs, Ash Baker, George Hirst, Warren Clarke, Fraser Preston (Charlie Hayford 88).
Subs Not Used: Dan Wallis, Joe Cook, Alex Hunt.
Hull City: Charlie Andrew, Brian Lenihan (Josh Clackstone 57), Brandon Fleming, Dan Batty (Ben Hinchliffe 71), Harvey Rodgers, Robbie McKenzie, Will Annan, Max Clark, Greg Luer (Jonathan Edwards 46), Greg Olley, Josh Tymon.
Subs Not Used: Steve Croudson, Ellis Barkworth.