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The KC Stadium (ATT 17,901) 6th April 2013 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: S Hooper

Hull City Hull City vs Middlesbrough Middlesbro'

Hull City 1

R Brady (62)

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Robbie Brady struck as Hull beat Middlesbrough 1-0 in the Championship

Last Updated: 08/04/13 1:20pm

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Robbie Brady: Struck the goal to send Hull to within four points of the top

Robbie Brady: Struck the goal to send Hull to within four points of the top

Robbie Brady struck in the second half as Hull strengthened their Championship automatic promotion chances with a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough.

After a confidence-sapping midweek defeat to third-placed Watford, who closed the gap to just one point as a result, the Tigers knew it was imperative they did not crash to a third consecutive home defeat.

And a curious sequence which has seen them win and lose alternate games stretched to a ninth contest when Brady's low 62nd-minute free-kick caught out Middlesbrough goalkeeper Jason Steele, who merely helped it into the net.

Sammy Ameobi waltzed past Corry Evans yet the Newcastle loanee struggled to truly test David Stockdale as his effort lacked power.

Stockdale was then alert enough to stop Mustapha Carayol's deflected cross creeping in at his near post moments later.

In their manager's own words, Hull had lacked a touch of quality in midweek and captain Robert Koren almost answered Bruce's call with a deft touch past Grant Leadbitter before he unleashed a vicious drive which stung Steele's palms.

George Boyd lashed into the side-netting but it was Ameobi, playing just off Ishmael Miller, who continued to impress at the other end.

First he saw a deflected effort go narrowly over the bar and then he picked out Miller with a clever cross which was just too high for the big forward to nod on target.

But it was the hosts who finally broke the deadlock just after the hour.

Josh McEachran tripped Koren on the edge of the box and, from the resulting free-kick 25 yards out, Brady struck the set piece low, curving the ball around the wall with Steele only able to push it into the roof of the net.

The Tigers went in pursuit of a second as Republic of Ireland international Brady's next dead-ball delivery was headed over by Ahmed Elmohamady and Simpson screwed wide.

The visitors continued to probe - Stockdale making a top-drawer near-post stop to deny Scott McDonald's cheeky flick before Liam Rosenior headed off the line from the subsequent corner.

Hull held on, though, meaning their quest to return to the Barclays Premier League remains in their own hands.

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Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Leicester City 43 93
2 Burnley 43 86
3 Derby County 43 78
4 Queens Park Rangers 43 73
5 Wigan Athletic 42 70
6 Brighton and Hove Albion 43 65
7 Reading 43 64
8 Ipswich Town 43 64
9 Nottingham Forest 43 62
10 Bournemouth 43 62
11 Blackburn Rovers 43 61
12 Watford 42 60
13 Middlesbrough 43 58
14 Bolton Wanderers 43 55
15 Sheffield Wednesday 43 53
16 Leeds United 43 53
17 Huddersfield Town 43 47
18 Birmingham City 42 43
19 Doncaster Rovers 43 43
20 Millwall 43 43
21 Charlton Athletic 42 42
22 Blackpool 43 42
23 Barnsley 43 39
24 Yeovil Town 43 37