A ninth-minute penalty miss from Graham Dorrans summed up another frustrating afternoon for the Baggies, who remain just one point above today’s opponents in 15th.
Hull drop into the relegation zone, but things could have been worse were it not for the display of their goalkeeper, who pushed away a routine spot-kick to keep the sides level.
Jake Livermore left Michael Oliver without much choice when he wrestled Victor Anichebe to the ground, but the failure from the spot set the tone for the rest of the afternoon.
Anichebe won the early penalty and was lively throughout the game, so it was easy to see why he had started ahead of the more slightly framed Saido Berahino.
For Hull, Sone Aluko had kept his place after his vital goal in midweek, and Abel Hernandez started alongside him. Going forward, it doesn’t look like a partnership that will work long-term as Aluko was shifted out wide and Hernandez seems to prefer playing as the lone striker.
The visitors had already been denied a third-minute shout after Anichebe fell under the challenge of Craig Dawson in the box, but referee Michael Oliver showed no hesitation shortly afterwards when the same player was pulled back by Livermore.
Dorrans’ penalty was placed well enough but Hull keeper Allan McGregor guessed right to dive to his left and paw the ball clear to the delight of the Tigers fans behind his goal.
The first half at the KC Stadium witnessed a mere six shots and only one on target, so it was no surprise the fans didn’t even wait until half-time to go and get their hot drinks.
Hull showed some signs of stirring after the break with Aluko scuffing a deflected shot wide before the hosts almost snatched the lead just before the hour mark.
Livermore caused problems again two minutes later when a spell of home pressure ended in the former Tottenham man tugging a low shot straight at Foster from 18 yards.
The Baggies’ best chance came in the 72nd minute when Craig Gardner was fouled by Tom Huddlestone and from the resulting free-kick Gardner drew a rare save out of McGregor.
Irvine had seen enough, immediately introducing Berahino, to the obvious pleasure of the visiting Baggies fans.
But as with so many of Berahino’s recent performances since his call-up by Roy Hodgson for last month’s double-header against Slovenia and Scotland, he seemed curiously off the pace and never threatened McGregor in the home goal.
Hernandez came close with a late header for Hull and Brown Ideye could have won it for the Baggies three minutes into injury-time but once again, McGregor was there to save his teammates.
Baggies goalkeeper Ben Foster only made just two saves in a disjointed 90 minutes. Alan Irvine will likely be the happier of the two managers, a contrast to the exasperated Steve Bruce who spent most of the second half pacing his technical area.
SOCCER SATURDAY ANALYSIS – Charlie Nicholas
For the first 20 minutes, maybe a little bit more, West Brom were the better team – but only because Hull had nothing at all to offer going forward. Hull played a back four but I was surprised he left young Andrew Robertson out. I’d always play him in the home games. He can pin the opposition back. That’s the one thing West Brom didn’t want, because they didn’t have Berahino up front.
West Brom got a penalty. It was a bad decision from Livermore, hanging onto Anichebe. He turned him for fun and all of a sudden he was dragged back. Penalty. It was a poor penalty from Dorrans, though. He tried to steer it to McGregor’s left. He’s got half-decent pace on it but McGregor is so good at penalties and made a lovely save. After that no efforts from Hull or West Brom, it was a really poor first half.
The second half got better, but only when Bruce made some changes. Bruce will be more disappointed because he’s at home, whereas Irvine is thinking ‘we weren’t really troubled at all until the last few minutes’. It was a decent away result and clean sheet for Irvine and West Brom.
Hull: McGregor (8), Rosenoir (6), Chester (7), Dawson (7), Meyler (7), Elmohamady (7), Huddlestone (6), Livermore (6), Quinn (7), Aluko (7), Hernandez (5).
Subs: Brady (6), Robertson (6), Jelavic (6).
West Brom: Foster (6), Wisdom (6), Lescott (7), McAuley (6), Pocognoli (6), Dorrans (7), Gardner (7), Mulumbu (6), Morrison (7), Sessegnon (7), Anichebe (8).
Subs: Varela (6), Berahino (5), Ideye (7).
MAN OF THE MATCH: Allan McGregor (Hull)