Second-placed Sheffield United maintained the pressure on Championship leaders Burnley by beating Hull City in a hard-fought contest at Bramall Lane.
Daniel Jebbison’s first goal of the season proved decisive, pouncing on Iliman Ndiaye’s pass after a menacing left-wing run by Anel Ahmedhodzic.
Promotion-chasing United’s dazzling form has now produced seven wins during an eight-game unbeaten league run.
Hull substitute Benjamin Tetteh saw red as his side chased a late reply.
Visiting goalkeeper Matt Ingram thwarted Jayden Bogle twice and the lively Sander Berge, although Hull occasionally threatened to preserve their own sequence of six games without defeat in the Championship.
The dangerous Oscar Estupinan went closest when goalkeeper Wes Foderingham and defender John Egan intervened alertly either side of half-time to prevent the Colombia international from seizing on scoring opportunities at close range.
An entertaining first half gave way to a considerably less eventful spectacle after the break as the hosts held Liam Rosenior’s side at arm’s length to see out a fourth successive home win.
On-loan Brighton striker Aaron Connolly toiled on his full debut for a Tigers side suffering from a lack of cutting edge, sending in a solitary shot on target despite pressing in the closing stages.
Hull’s hopes sank further when striker Tetteh was sent off for appearing to headbutt Oli McBurnie in the 84th minute, having been brought on 22 minutes earlier.
The win keeps United 14 points clear of third-placed Watford and five behind Burnley, who scored two late goals to secure a comeback victory at home to West Brom on Friday.
Hull remain eight points from both the relegation zone and the play-off places after suffering their first Championship defeat since 12 November.
Sheffield United head coach Paul Heckinbottom, speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield:
“We could see, straight away, that Hull were sending diagonal balls towards our wing-backs. We changed a couple of positions and altered our shape to try to hit their back four.
“We know now that when we play teams, there’s generally a shift in what they try to do. We just couldn’t get that second goal.
“Burnley got a late winner – good on them. It’s going to be like this until the end of the season. Our goal came earlier but that doesn’t mean it was any less hard-fought. They’ll be feeling the same as us: that every win is a big achievement to celebrate in this league.”
Hull head coach Liam Rosenior, speaking to BBC Radio Humberside:
“I’m proud of the players’ efforts. They pushed a very, very good team all the way. Even with 10 men, we threw the kitchen sink at it and they were holding on.
“With a little bit more belief and confidence in the final third, we had so many chances to score. We more than matched them for large periods of the game.
“I need [Tetteh] out on the pitch. It’s a mistake and he’s apologised to the players, the staff and I. He’s a good lad but an emotional guy. We’ll deal with it.”
- 15AhmedhodzicBooked at 11mins
- 19RobinsonBooked at 83mins
- 20BogleBooked at 90mins
- 8BergeSubstituted forBashamat 81′minutes
- 16NorwoodBooked at 35mins
- 22DoyleBooked at 20minsSubstituted forOsbornat 70′minutes
- 29NdiayeSubstituted forMcBurnieat 81′minutesBooked at 85mins
- 36JebbisonSubstituted forSharpat 71′minutes
- 2CoyleSubstituted forTufanat 63′minutes
- 4GreavesSubstituted forElderat 70′minutes
- 8DochertySubstituted forTettehat 62′minutesBooked at 84mins
- 33ChristieSubstituted forSmithat 88′minutes
- 44ConnollyBooked at 90mins
- 27SlaterSubstituted forLongmanat 63′minutes
- 19EstupiñánBooked at 57mins
- Darren Bond
Match ends, Sheffield United 1, Hull City 0.
Second Half ends, Sheffield United 1, Hull City 0.
Attempt missed. Ben Osborn (Sheffield United) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a set piece situation.
Foul by Aaron Connolly (Hull City).
Jayden Bogle (Sheffield United) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt saved. Jayden Bogle (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ben Osborn with a cross.
Aaron Connolly (Hull City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Aaron Connolly (Hull City).
Ben Osborn (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Jayden Bogle (Sheffield United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Aaron Connolly (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jayden Bogle (Sheffield United).
Foul by Alfie Jones (Hull City).
Oliver McBurnie (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Hull City. Tyler Smith replaces Cyrus Christie.
Ryan Longman (Hull City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Max Lowe (Sheffield United).
Attempt saved. Cyrus Christie (Hull City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Oliver McBurnie (Sheffield United) is shown the yellow card.
Benjamin Tetteh (Hull City) is shown the red card for violent conduct.