Blues and Tigers share spoils

Promotion rivals Birmingham and Hull shared the spoils in a tight 0-0 Championship stalemate at St Andrew's on Tuesday night.

Last Updated: 14/02/12 at 22:10

Hobbs: Went close for Hull

Hobbs: Went close for Hull

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The writing was on the wall ahead of a clash between the second tier's two meanest defences, with Hull not having conceded in their previous four league matches while Blues had shipped just one goal in their last seven in all competitions.

And clear-cut chances were at a premium in an encounter in which defences were on top, with a point apiece suitable reward.

The point extends Birmingham's unbeaten run to 13 matches and maintains their undefeated league run on home soil, albeit dropping from third to fifth.

Hull, now five Championship games without defeat, also drop one place to seventh amid a competitive promotion picture, with both sides boasting a game in hand on their rivals.

Blues skipper Stephen Carr returned after injury to make his first appearance since mid-December - the club's last defeat of any kind, one of two changes with Wade Elliott also coming in.

Tigers manager Nick Barmby made one switch, Aaron Mclean replacing Cameron Stewart from the XI who started Saturday's 3-0 triumph over Bristol City, which was watched by Blues boss Chris Hughton with his side's clash at Barnsley falling foul of the weather.

Hull started firmly in the ascendancy albeit without really causing any concern to Blues' backline, with the hosts sloppy in possession and struggling to get to grips with the game.

The first real opening came after 19 minutes and Birmingham were thankful to midfielder Jordon Mutch, who cleared Jack Hobbs' header off the line following a recycled corner.

Keith Fahey's shot was easily saved by Vito Mannone at the other end as Blues threatened for the first time.

The home side became more competitive as the first half wore on and grew into proceedings.

But openings were even more scarce over the second part of the first period as the half-time whistle brought a close to the finely-balanced proceedings.

Hughton sparked life into his side at the break as they started the second period full of urgency, adding much-needed pace to the encounter which was missing in the first half.

Curtis Davies twice headed over the crossbar amid a sequence of three quickfire corners.

Elliott narrowly failed to connect with Carr's teasing cross shortly after the hour mark as Blues further threatened an opener.

Mclean proved his threat for Hull, who reminded Birmingham of their threat as the clash entered the closing stages.

The hosts went into the final 10 minutes knowing well over a third of their 47 league goals this term had come in the final 10 minutes.

And Davies came close to teeing up King for a late winner but it was not to be as Hull took a deserved point back to Humberside.

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2 Norwich 7 10 16
3 Watford 7 7 15
4 Wolves 7 4 14
5 Charlton 7 3 13
6 Reading 7 1 13
7 Derby 7 5 12
8 Sheff Wed 7 3 12
9 M'boro 7 2 12
10 Ipswich 7 3 11
11 Brentford 7 0 11
12 Millwall 7 0 10
13 Blackburn 7 -1 10
14 Leeds 7 -3 10
15 Bournemth 7 1 8
16 Wigan 7 1 8
17 Cardiff 7 -1 8
18 Brighton 7 -2 7
19 Rotherham 7 -4 7
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22 Huddersfld 7 -8 5
23 Blackpool 7 -7 1
24 Fulham 7 -12 1

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