There were, Steve Evans said, no great celebrations after Crawley advanced to the fifth round of the FA Cup for the second consecutive season. His League Two promotion contenders arrived expecting nothing less and, if anything, were disappointed not to have won by more than the second-half goal by leading scorer Matt Tubbs.
Evans has never been afraid of blowing his own trumpet, but, on this occasion, he spoke the truth.
His team looked as though they knew exactly what they were doing from the opening whistle and the extent to which they dominated was remarkable.
"Since the draw was made, we did our homework, watching reserve games as well as the first team, and we played some great stuff today," said Evans. Having hoped to get another chance against Manchester United, where they lost in the fifth round last season, he acknowledged he would be happy to draw Liverpool or Chelsea this time around.
City manager Nick Barmby, who made seven changes to the side that beat Reading in their last Championship outing, was gracious in defeat. "All credit to Crawley, they played well and we were beaten by the better team," said the former England international. "We didn't get the ball down and pass, but I don't want to take anything away from Crawley -- they wouldn't let us."
The first 40 minutes was something of an embarrassment for the home supporters, who saw Crawley dominate possession. Tubbs, with an overhead kick, Tyrone Barnett and Sanchez Watt all went close, while only once did Hull seriously threaten, Robbie Brady's shot just before half-time drawing a diving save from Scott Shearer.
Barmby made changes at half-time, sending on a second out-and-out striker, Aaron McLean, and Tom Cairney immediately went close with a curling shot, but Crawley continued to attack and, on 57 minutes, got the goal that had been coming. Pablo Mills had already forced Vito Mannone to make a diving save when Tubbs beat the offside trap to run on to a long ball from Dannie Bulmann down the left, cut into the penalty area and squeezed a sidefooted shot under the City keeper.
"We said to the boys at half-time, keep your concentration and focus, and a goal will come, and, in the end, it could have been three or four," said Evans.
Sunday Indo Sport