West Bromwich Albion 3 Coventry City 0

Hulse, recalled after an absence of six games, struck for the first time since his double at West Ham on November 8 to take his tally for the season to 13.

His 52nd minute goal sealed the success after Geoff Horsfield had scored for the first time in six games to fire Albion ahead after 23 minutes with his fifth goal for the club.

Midfielder Mark Kinsella completed the comprehensive victory 11 minutes from time with his first goal for the club following his free transfer move from Aston Villa in January.

Hulse should really have marked his return with a goal after just ten minutes.

He was presented with a gilt-edged chance by a pin-point pass from Republic of Ireland international midfielder Kinsella.

Hulse left the Coventry defence in his wake and was faced with just goalkeeper Scott Shearer to beat from 12 yards.

But he fired his shot straight at the Scotsman who was able to deflect the ball away with his legs.

Albion were in the ascendancy in the opening stages and Shearer had to come to Coventry's rescue again seven minutes later when he did well to hold on to a header from Thomas Gaardsoe after a corner from Jason Koumas.

Coventry struggled to mount any serious attacks of their own and when they did striker Julian Joachim sliced his shot from 12 yards in the 18th minute horribly wide after he had been set up by Gary McSheffrey.

It proved to be an expensive miss as Albion finally made their pressure pay five minutes later through the hard-working Horsfield.

Once again, Coventry were undone by a lofted ball into the area, this time by midfielder Andy Johnson.

Horsfield raced on to the pass and found himself under pressure from the Coventry skipper Steve Staunton.

The former Fulham marksman somehow wrapped his right foot around the ball to beat Shearer from the most acute of angles.

Coventry were in no mood to buckle and were unfortunate not to draw level three minutes before half-time.

It needed a last-ditch block from Gaardsoe at the near post to beat away a close-range drive from Martin Grainger.

But Coventry's comeback hopes did not last much longer as Albion clinched their success just seven minutes after the interval.

After a throw-in from James Chambers, Shearer did well to beat away an initial effort at the near post from Horsfield.

Unfortunately for Coventry the rebound flew straight to Hulse who had the simple task of firing the ball into an empty net with Shearer out of position.

Kinsella then gave the final scoreline a somewhat flattering look with a goal that was a disaster for the Coventry substitute Craig Pead.

Pead tried to cut out a cross from Delroy Facey but all he succeeded in doing was to play the ball into the path of Kinsella who stabbed the ball home from six yards.

Man of the match - Rob Hulse: Capped a fine performance with the crucial opening goal on his return to the side.