Hull City 0 Bristol City 0: Nervy Tigers must wait for the big time
20:37 GMT, 19 April 2013
20:57 GMT, 19 April 2013
If Hull City are going to go back to the Barclays Premier League, they are determined to do it the hard way.
Just three days after losing at Wolves, Steve Bruce's side, who remain
second behind promoted Cardiff City, blew their chance to virtually
guarantee their return to the top flight with a victory over
bottom-placed Bristol City, who were relegated earlier in the week.
Running man: Hull's Matt Fryatt tussles with Liam Kelly of Bristol City
Hull: Stockdale, Chester (Rosenior 86), Faye, Hobbs, Elmohamady, Boyd, Meyler, Quinn, Brady, Gedo (Simpson 67), Fryatt (Proschwitz 67). Subs Not Used: Jakupovic, Cairney, McShane, Fathi.
Bristol City: Heaton, Foster, Nyatanga, Moloney, Cunningham, Adomah (Anderson 86), Kilkenny, Kelly, Bates,Baldock (Howard 90), Davies (Burns 90). Subs Not Used: Gerken, Mark Wilson, Louis Carey, Ajala.
Ref: Michael Oliver (Northumberland).
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The drab goalless draw at the KC Stadium has offered a lifeline to closest rivals Watford, who face Blackburn Rovers at Vicarage Road on Saturday and can now overtake Hull with three wins out of three. Bizarrely however, if Gianfranco Zola's side lose, Hull will be promoted.
That, of course, is the Championship but Hull never really looked like a team on the verge of leaving the division in the right direction in front of their anxious and frustrated supporters. Bristol City certainly looked like a team who are relegated.
They were the opponents five years ago when Dean Windass's dramatic late goal sealed Hull's promotion to the big time for the first time. There was no local hero to break the deadlock last night, or offer evidence that Hull will be able to avoid a return visit to Wembley to clinch promotion next month.
Hold up: Fryatt is blocked off by with Brendan Moloney
Pressure point: Hull boss Steve Bruce
For all that their three-man defence had little to do, the home side
rarely troubled visiting keeper Tom Heaton. He didn't have a save to
make in the first half, which was down to the Tigers' nervy and
unconvincing approach play.
And when rare chances did fall their way in the penalty area, they were
wasted. Irish pair Robbie Brady and Stephen Quinn both benefitted from
the tireless endeavours of their fellow countryman David Meyler but
Brady found the sidenetting and Quinn could only reach the 98 travelling
supporters who made the long journey north.
Hull, who travel to Barnsley next week, fared little better after the
break as Bruce tried to calm nerves among his players and the home
crowd. Even strong penalty appeals for a foul on Quinn 10 minutes from
time failed to convince referee Michael Oliver.
In fact, apart from a weak Brady free-kick, the only shot on target came
from Bristol's Sam Baldock who barely warmed David Stockdale's hands
with his drive.
Heaton did not have a meaningful save to make until the first minute
of added time when he denied Meyler with a superb two-handed stop from
12 yards after the home side finally penetrated the Bristol back line.