Tiger Nationals fretting about a shallow looking striker corps. ahead of Saturday’s opener might take heart from a home win against Swansea 13 years ago. City had fired blanks in their first three games of the 1997/1998 Division Three campaign, failing to trouble the keepers of Mansfield, Notts County and Peterborough under new boss and one time prolific AC Milan/Monaco/Rangers hitman Mark Hateley. After the drought though, came a deluge as the ‘Jacks’ got ‘jacked at Boothferry Park…
The first of 11 goals came after 13 minutes, when bullet-headed Brummie Duane Darby nodded in a ‘Tricky Dicky’ Peacock cross, though Swansea cancelled out that strike within a minute. ‘Barrel chested’ midfielder Greg Rioch put the Tigers back in front on 36 minutes and the first half ended 2-1, with little suggestion that the game would go goal mental after the break.
‘Keepers Roger Freestone and Scott Thompson likely needed a Ralgex rub at full time after spending most of the second half arching their backs to pick the ball out of the net. Bird equalised for Swansea after 53 minutes but parity was short lived, as traitorous taff Glyn Hodges put the Welshmen behind once more. Darby grabbed a second on 62 minutes before future Tiger and man of many hairstyles Jason Price bundled home. Neil Mann (Mann Mann) then struck a brace, the second a delicious turn and chip over the befuddled Freestone.
Bob ‘The Butcher’ Dewhurst generously scored an OG before Duane Darby claimed the matchball with his third and City’s seventh. Greg Rioch completed the drama by elbowing Price in the face and seeing red in the final minute. Jan Molby, a man whose time as Tigers boss years later would match Hateley’s in its futility, was the Swans gaffer that day, he lamented the result thus; “It was an unbelievable score. We had about 85 per cent of the game , and that’s being kind to Hull.” Heh.
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