Hull City and Blackburn Rovers were forced to share the spoils after they played out a goalless draw at the KC Stadium – Rovers third such result.
Rovers have certainly tightened up at the back, nobody could accuse them otherwise but that has seemingly sacrificed more opportunites at the attacking end of the field.
Rovers substitute Nikola Kalinic had the best chance of the game in the second half as he pounced on a loose ball inside the six-yard box and fired in a first-time shot, but the Croatia striker could only send ball agonisingly wide of the post.
Blackburn had a chance early on as a Richard Garcia foul on Junior Holliet allowed Benni McCarthy to try his luck from a close range free-kick, but his blasted right-footed effort flew well over the Hull crossbar.
Craig Fagan then had a great chance for the home side as he was found with a tight through ball by Boateng, but the striker was not in luck as keeper Paul Robinson cleverly turned away his low right-footed effort.
Vince Grella then came close for Blackburn but his first-time right-footed effort curled up and over the bar from 18 yards. But it was only a matter of time before Grella hobbled off as fears over his recent injury woes continued.
Hull were starting to get control for a short period and Geovanni tried his luck for Hull towards the end of the half but his arrowed right-footed volley was comfortably saved by Robinson.
That was more or less it in a very tame and pedestrianised first half.
Blackburn’s Franco di Santo, turned up the heat in the 2nd half and had a chance early in the second half but his speculative half-volley was at great pace but sadly right down the throat of Hull keeper Myhill.
Boateng then found space for a shot at the other end of the pitch but his low left-footed drive was well saved by Robinson.
Garcia created a chance for himself on the hour mark as he cut inside the Blackburn defence, but he really should have done better, hitting a tame effort that allowed Robinson to make a comfortable save.
Shortly after coming on as a sub for Benni McCarthy, Kalinic was looking tricky and found himself with a great chance moments later but he could only fire his left-footed shot into the side netting from 12 yards.
An improved secodn half was then put on hold as Hull sub Altiodore tried to con the ref and was booked for a technical looking dive that involved no contact at all from Chris Samba – despite Hull’s silly protests it was a dive of Gerrard proportions.
Kalinic then came within inches of putting the visitors in the lead with the best chance of the match but his first-time effort from six yards somehow rolled past the post when it seemed easier to score.
All in all, difficult to make a judgement call. If we had of really gone for it we could have won 2-0, but then we could have lost 2-0 with that approach to.
It seemed that Sam was happy with the clean sheet and point on offer despite the late chances.
Robinson – 7
Like Myhill down the other end he really didn’t have LOADS to do.
But what he did have to do he did with minimum fuss and confidence. Good to see.
Chimbonda – 7
Looked a good outlet down the right and he and Emo seemed to have really gelled down that.
I suspect that with a bit more freedom the two could reak havoc for us. The defensive side of his game was very tidy to.
Nelsen – 8
The Kiwi seems to realise that his lack of pace can be compensated for by some very clever positional play.
Givet – 6
Solid in defence as always and never shirked his duties out on the left hand side.
However, his attacking play is a bit erratic and when he did venture forward he sometimes looked a little lost. Could just be me thinking that though!
Emerton – 7
At times starved of service on the right wing so had to drift in to try and pick up the ball.
But when he did get on the ball and drive, he looked menacing and can be happy with his days work.
N’Zonzi – 6
Steady, solid and kept everything ticking over. Didn’t really put a foot wrong and again was an aerial presence that Rovers profited from.
Is really finding a niche for himself in the side as ‘The Ticker’.
Grella – 5
Came off injured after 35 minutes as a reccurence of injury struck again. Very annoying as you could tell by his face.
Prior to that looked very stern and played the ‘The Destroyer’ very well.
Hoilett – 7
First league start and for the most part looked the business.
Was a little isolated out on the left but when in control of the ball and the field he made some good runs and looked like a Premier League player.
McCarthy – 7
Our main source of creativity. His little tricks and flicks were fooling the Hull defence/midfield and he looked trimmer than in a long while.
On the flip side, by the time he came off, he was trying to be too clever and one trick to many was causing yours truly to become a bit frustrated.
Di Santo – 6
Not bad, but not great. The running and the hold up play was there but he didn’t really dovetail with McCarthy as well as they perhaps might.
A good effort in the second half was the sum of his goal attempts.
Samba – 7
Plenty of aerial dominance and some good footwork/anticipation at the back kept things steady.
Standard Samba display. Nelsen/Samba works very well in the centre.
Andrews – 4
Looked extremely nervous and didn’t know when to commit to the tackle sometimes which lost the team momentum.
Did the usual box to box role but loads of running without much tackling, passing and productivity does not a good performance make.
Kalinic – 7
Ignoring the glaring miss look at the facts.
In the last 20 minutes he created three, that’s THREE chances for himself – sooner or later that will bring goals. The future is brighter than Kalinic might think it likes.
Shouty, argumentative J-Rob made and appearance for the final ten minutes.
He did nothing of any note.