Championship report: Emile Sinclair’s stunning hat-trick helped Peterborough United to their first Championship points of the season at the KC Stadium.
The fleet-footed striker replaced Nathaniel Mendez-Laing in one of six changes manager Darren Ferguson made to his starting line-up and responded in scintillating style.
Sinclair, who scored twice on this ground for Macclesfield last season, opened the scoring in the 23rd minute after blocking a clearance on the halfway line, executing a perfect tackle on Stephen Quinn, racing clear and keeping his head to go round Hull ‘keeper Ben Amos before tapping into an empty net.
It was 2-0 and two to Sinclair eight minutes later when George Boyd played him through on goal and the hat-trick arrived 15 minutes from time after another individual run and fine finish from the edge of the penalty area.
It was a quite stunning display, but Ferguson must also take plenty of credit for his tactical masterplan. He fielded three centre-backs in Craig Alcock, Shaun Brisley and Nathaniel Knight-Percival and employed Mark Little and Tommy Rowe as wing-backs.
Posh defended superbly and were only breached when Jay Simpson pulled a goal back on the hour with a firm 12-yard finish, but Sinclair’s hat-trick strike 15 minutes later eased any nerves.
Hull had dominated possession in the opening 20 minutes, but rarely threatened to score. Sone Aluko headed a half-chance over the bar in the opening stages and missed a sitter at the start of the second-half after a fine pull-back by Joe Dudgeon.
Posh had further opportunities after the break. A brilliant 1-2 between Sinclair and Barnett led to the former sprinting clear and forcing a fine save from Amos and an excellent run from full debutant Kane Ferdinand was spoilt by his decision to pass rather than shoot from an unguarded position on the edge of the penalty area.
Posh are now three points adrift at the foot of the Championship table ahead of Tuesday’s (October 2) trip to Barnsley.
GOALS: Posh – Sinclair (23 mins, 30 mins, 73 mins).
Hull – Simpson (60 mins).
CAUTIONS: Posh – Boyd (foul), Sinclair (foul).
REFEREE; Michael Oliver 8.
Posh player ratings:
Bobby Olejnik: Handled everything superbly, very dominant, very impressive 8
Craig Alcock: Welcome back Craig. Excellent covering and won his battles 7
Shaun Brisley: Outstanding in the middle of a back three, always in the right place 7
Nathaniel Knight-Percival: He looks a strong player, powerful in the air, good on the ball 8
Mark Little: Terrific effort up and down the right flank. Defended very well 7
Tommy Rowe: His tidy left foot, pace and energy gave the side good balance 7
Michael Bostwick: He is a commanding presence, needs to speed up passing though 6
Kane Ferdinand: Played with a lot of spirit and energy 6
George Boyd: Much more like the player Posh fans fell in love with, good assist on second goal 7
Emile Sinclair: Awesome display of pace and finishing. Deserves all the praise he will get 9
Tyrone Barnett: Linked up well with his latest strike partner, defends corners well 6
Kgosi Ntlhe: (for Ferdinand, 71 mins).
Grant McCann: (for Rowe, 75 mins).
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing: (not used).
Lee Tomlin: (not used).
Danny Swanson: (not used).
Gaby Zakuani: (not used).
Joe Day: (not used).
Ben Amos: 6
James Chester: 6
Abdoulaye Faye: 5
Alex Bruce: 5
Ahmed Elmohamady: 7
Joe Dudgeon: 7
Seyi Olofinjana: 5
Stephen Quinn: 5
Robert Koren: 6
Jay Simpson: 7
Sone Aluko: 7
Nick Proschwitz: (for Olofinjana, 57 mins).
Liam Rosenior: (for Chester, 61 mins).
Aaron Mclean: (not used).
Paul McShane: (not used).
Corry Evans: (not used).
Andy Dawson: (not used).
Mark Oxley: (not used).