Tigers and Sky Blues share stalemate

Hull and Coventry could not be separated in their Championship clash at the KC Stadium as they shared a 0-0 stalemate on Saturday.

Last Updated: 02/10/10 at 17:40 Post Comment

Bullard: Went close for Hull

Bullard: Went close for Hull

The Humberside ground has seen only four goals all season - fewer than any other in England's second tier - and it was no real surprise that the majority of the 20,626 present witnessed a third goalless draw of the campaign.

Optimism was high heading into the clash with Coventry the only remaining team in the Championship to have found the net in each of their league games, but that record has now been extinguished.

In an uninspiring first half full of unforced errors, Jimmy Bullard came closest to breaking the deadlock when his long-range strike came back off the woodwork.

Both sides had good chances to find the net in an exciting second half but a mixture of wayward finishing and solid goalkeeping from both Matt Duke and Keiren Westwood meant it ended honours even.

Marlon King failed his fitness test on a dead leg, meaning he avoided a potentially hot reception at the KC Stadium on his first visit to an away ground since his return to the game.

King was on loan with the Tigers in December 2008 when he was involved in the nightclub incident that saw him sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Nigel Pearson made three changes to the Hull side hammered 4-0 at Burnley in midweek, new loan signing Rowan Vine handed his debut in a new-look side along with returning duo Bullard and Richard Garcia.

Vine picked up a yellow card after just 40 seconds, but the striker's early enthusiasm was hardly replicated in goalscoring openings in what was a scrappy first half low in quality.

In a rare moment of excitement, Bullard brought the home crowd to their feet 19 minutes in when his 25-yard strike beat Westwood but came back off the crossbar.

Hull's on-loan defender Daniel Ayala could consider himself fortunate to stay on the pitch after half an hour, escaping with a booking for an ugly two-footed challenge on Richard Keogh.

Vine sent an effort over the bar and later headed straight at Westwood but there was very little else to get excited about in the opening 45 minutes.

With the points very much up for grabs, the second half was much livelier affair.

The visitors seized the early initiative and Keogh fired straight at Hull keeper Duke, Aron Gunnarsson found the side-netting and Danny Ward failed to do better with a back-post header.

The momentum then swung in Hull's favour as the hosts enjoyed a spell of pressure in which substitute Nick Barmby should have broken the deadlock, firing wide when presented which a clear-cut opening after 70 minutes.

The final 10 minutes saw plenty of chances at either end.

Duke stood up well to keep out Gunnarsson before Lukas Jutkiewicz fired wide for Coventry.

Bullard and Anthony Gerrard then drilled over for Hull, with Westwood producing great saves to deny Tom Cairney and Robert Koren.

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3 Derby 44 30 81
4 QPR 44 15 76
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7 Brighton 44 12 66
8 N Forest 44 7 65
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13 Middlesbro' 44 7 58
14 Bolton 44 -3 55
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18 Charlton 43 -23 45
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