Stalemate at KC
Published : 24 Oct 2009 14:14:20
Hull and Portsmouth shared a goalless stalemate at the KC Stadium to remain in the drop zone. Paul Hart's side had the better chances of a dour encounter, with Tommy Smith dragging an effort across goal in the first minute after getting behind Kamil Zayatte to shoot. In the second period, Aruna Dindane's shot just after the hour mark was well saved by Boaz Myhill before his effort from the rebound hit team-mate Younes Kaboul. Soon afterwards, Kevin-Prince Boateng's cross from the left found Hassan Yebda at the far post but Myhill again pulled off a fine reaction save to earn his side a point. The draw keeps Hull third-from-bottom on goal difference, while Pompey prop up the table, four points from safety. The biggest waves made by Hull all came off the field as first record signing Jimmy Bullard failed to make the teamsheet. Manager Phil Brown had hoped to hand his £5million midfielder a home debut after his return from a nine month lay-off as a substitute in Monday's defeat at Fulham but the 31-year-old suffered a knock on his shin in a reserve team run-out in midweek and so missed this clash. It then became apparent the Tigers had suffered further disruption before kick-off when USA striker Jozy Altidore revealed the reason for his omission on Twitter. The 19-year-old wrote: "Apologize to the all of you. I showed up late. Made a big mistake I'm very, very sorry." His 'Tweet' was removed shortly afterwards. Hull's frustration, after winning just three times in the whole of 2009, was summed up as a camera caught goalkeeper Myhill involved in a heated exchange with team-mate Seyi Olofinjana at half-time after a back-pass almost proved costly. TenseWith both sides struggling in the bottom three, the match was always likely to be tense even if Pompey, having scored just five times this season, might have been confident against the competition's leakiest defence. The visitors almost caught Hull inside the first minute once the game got under way as Smith outpaced Zayatte to reach a Dindane flick-on but the former Watford forward dragged his shot across goal. Geovanni curled a free-kick over as Hull responded and a later set-piece from Stephen Hunt wide on the right wrong-footed everyone in the box except goalkeeper David James. Brazilian playmaker Geovanni, starting in an advanced role, looked Hull's most threatening player and created a shooting opportunity for Dean Marney by cutting inside Steve Finnan but the midfielder fired narrowly over. Aaron Mokoena tried his luck for Pompey from outside the area but missed the target by a long way. The recalled Olofinjana then almost gifted Smith a chance with a poor pass-back to Myhill but Andy Dawson got back into the box to spare their blushes. In one of few enterprising pieces of play, Olofinjana clipped a clever ball into the Pompey area but it was just out of Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink's reach. Smith then turned to shoot from a Dindane ball at the other end but Paul McShane blocked, while Marney had another chance before the break but his shot was deflected for a corner. Marney had the first chance of the second half too when a corner found its way to him 20 yards out but again he blazed off target. Hunt then lofted in a free-kick looking for Anthony Gardner - whose return after two months out was one positive for Hull - but England goalkeeper James rose to claim. Penalty appealHull appealed for a penalty when Geovanni was picked out by Olofinjana and went down under a challenge from James but the England keeper got the ball and referee Stuart Attwell rightly waved play on. The best chance of the game fell to Dindane just after the hour as a Jamie O'Hara free-kick bounced kindly in front of goal. The Ivorian, looking to make amends for a dreadful double miss against Tottenham last week, hit a crisp shot but Myhill saved. The ball rebounded back to Dindane but this time his own team-mate Kaboul got in the way of his follow-up effort. Portsmouth kept up the pressure as Yebda slid in to reach Boateng's cross but Myhill clawed the ball away. The frustration among Hull's support was evident when Hunt was replaced by Richard Garcia after 74 minutes, the majority clearly unhappy at the removal of the Irishman. Nick Barmby, who also came off the bench, had a chance late on but James easily claimed his header. Myhill presented Pompey with a late opportunity after losing the ball and then tripping Boateng outside the area but O'Hara put his free-kick over. The Hull keeper then went down injured late on after kicking a ball upfield and needed prolonged treatment on the pitch. While he stayed on the field as Hull had used all three substitutes, he appeared to have sustained a serious injury which will add to Brown's problems as he seeks to guide the Tigers clear of the drop zone.