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Match Report


Posted Sat 12 Dec 09 at 16:56 PM

Report: Hull City 0 Rovers 0

Rovers and Hull City shared the spoils in a close encounter at the KC Stadium.

In a game of few clear-cut chances, Craig Fagan was denied early on when through as Paul Robinson pulled off a brilliant one-handed save.

Benni McCarthy saw a goal chalked off for offside, whilst Vince Grella fired narrowly over, but chances were few and far between in the first half.

The second saw more goalmouth action, but still more goals. Richard Garcia wasted a great chance to put the home side in front on the hour but he shot straight at Robinson.

The Nikola Kalinić was equally wasteful when he prodded narrowly wide.

The last fifteen minutes could have seen either side grab all three points as Nikola Kalinić and Vennegoor of Hesselink had chances, but Sam Allardyce will be the happier of the two managers for a welcome away point.

Sam Allardyce made just the one change from the side that held Liverpool seven days ago. That saw a first Barclays Premier League start for Junior Hoilett who got the nod ahead of El-Hadji Diouf who dropped to the bench.

Rovers had the ball in the back of the net after just eight minutes only to see the linesman's flag rule it out as McCarthy fired home at the far post from Givet's cross.

Moments later and it was the home side who had the best chance of the half. George Boateng threaded the ball through the Rovers back line for Craig Fagan to race onto. But with just Paul Robinson to beat he was denied by a brilliant one-handed save from the Rovers' stopper.

Rovers were enjoying plenty of possession with their neat passing play, but without ever carving open a resiliant Hull back line. Vince Grella went close as he shot from the angle, but his effort was a foot over the bar.

Despite Rovers having the greater share of the ball it was Robinson who was the busier of the two 'keepers. Geovanni kept him alert from a free-kick, whilst Robinson was down quickly to save a low strike across goal from Stephen Hunt.

Rovers were forced into making a change just before the break as Vince Grella was replaced by Keith Andrews, and whilst the visitors ended the half with a couple of corner kicks, the couldn't force home that advantage.

The second half was slow to get going, aside from a Di Santo half volley and a drilled effort from George Boateng, there was little to excite the supporters.

However, on the hour mark Hull wasted a great chance to open the scoring.

A free-kick from Dean Marney was floated into the Rovers box, Anthony Gardner was first to the ball to nod down into the path of Richard Garcia, his first touch took him beyond Gaël Givet, but his shot was tame and easily saved by Robinson.

Nikola Kalinić was brought on for Benni McCarthy and the Croatian went close just five minutes after his introduction. A long ball forward out of defence was flicked onto Kalinić by Franco Di Santo, he shot first time but his near post effort flashed into the sidenetting, disappointing the Rovers supporters on the far side who thought the ball had hit the back of the net.

Then came two further chance for the 21-year-old, the first was saved by Myhill as he looked to have been pulled down in the area, but two minutes later it was head in hands stuff for the former Hajduk Split forward as from a header across the area he somehow touched the ball wide.

The home side then thought they had strong claims for a penalty as Jozy Altidore went down in the area under a challenge from the already booked Chris Samba. But Chris Foy awarded a free-kick for Rovers, ruling that the American had dived.

Rovers threw on Jason Roberts for Franco Di Santo in their last change of the game, whilst Phil Brown's Hull made a double switch with Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink and Seyi Olofinjana coming on.

And it was Vennegoor of Hesselink who almost made an immediate impact, flicking the ball over the incoming Samba, but the former Celtic man chipped the ball straight into the apprecitive arms of Robinson.

Moments later Vennegoor of Hesselink was involved again, heading a centre from Stephen Hunt just wide, whilst at the other end end Jason Roberts' mis-timed effort bounced safely into the arms of Bo Myhill.

So its a fourth clean sheet for Rovers from their last five games, and a welcome point on their travels.

HULL CITY: Myhill, Dawson, Gardner (c), McShane. Fagan (sub Vennegoor of Hesselink 77 mins), Geovanni, Hunt, Garcia (sub Altidore 66 mins), Boateng, Marney (sub Olofinjana 78 mins), Zayatte.

Subs not used: Duke (GK), Barmby, Mendy, Kilbane.

ROVERS: Robinson, Chimbonda, Samba, Nelsen (c), Givet, Emerton, Grella (sub Andrews 41 mins), Nzonzi, Hoilett, McCarthy (sub Kalinić 59 mins), Di Santo (sub Roberts 76 mins).

Subs not used: Brown (GK), Pedersen, Diouf, Salgado.

Booked: Altidore (Hull City), Kalinić, Samba (Rovers)

Attendance: 24,124

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