Hull City face Yorkshire derby in Championship play-off
Tigers are mauled by Derby County, but hang on to set up Wembley showdown with Sheffield Wednesday
Hull 0 Derby 2 (Hull win 3-2 on aggregate)
A stirring Championship play-off comeback from Derby failed to derail Hull City's hopes of a return to the Premier League as the Tigers held on to book a date at Wembley where they will face Sheffield Wednesday in a Yorkshire derby.
Hull could have been forgiven for thinking they had already done the hard work after winning the first leg of the play-off semi-final 3-0 at Derby, but the Rams arrived at the KC Stadium determined to make amends for their home capitulation and gave Steve Bruce's team a real scare.
"Derby's carefree intent was evident from the off, but so, too, was Hull's lack of ambition and they looked terrified as they retreated deep into their own territory," says the Daily Mail.
They were made to pay for their "foolish ploy" adds the paper. Johnny Russell opened the scoring for the visitors after only seven minutes and the jitters really set in when an Andrew Robertson own goal made it 2-0 to the utterly dominant Derby before half time.
Hull were "shambolic" in the first half says The Times and were fortunate not to concede more than two goals. However, the Tigers were more solid in the second period and managed to hold out for the final whistle.
Manager Steve Bruce admitted he feared for his future as Derby stormed forward. "We don't make things easy for ourselves," he said afterwards. "I think I would have been sacked had we lost. We were nervy, but give Derby credit, we couldn't get near them for the first half an hour."
For Derby manager Darren Wassall it could be the end of the road, even though he guided the Rams to the play-offs after the dismissal of Paul Clement in February. "There are no talks planned but I've enjoyed working with everyone at the club," he said.
Hull can now look foward to the play-off final against Wednesday on 28 May. "Along with Yorkshire pride, there will be the small matter of £170m on the line," notes The Guardian.