Premier League: Hull City 0 Aston Villa 0
By Football News
Hull City and Aston Villa consolidated their creditable mid-table starts to the season with a drab goalless draw at the KC Stadium.
The sides came into the match in confident mood, Villa having sensationally come from behind to defeat Manchester City 3-2 seven days ago, and both were searching for a third consecutive Premier League win.
Returning Villa forward Gabriel Agbonlahor produced a stinging shot to draw a fine first-half save from Allan McGregor but, in truth, the Hull goalkeeper and his opposite number Brad Guzan enjoyed relatively untroubled afternoons.
Before that opening, Hull’s Danny Graham might have converted Ahmed Elmohamady's right-wing cross but the former Swansea striker failed to do so and his goal drought extended to 24 matches in all competitions.
Stephen Quinn came into the Hull midfield to replace Robbie Brady after the side's top scorer underwent hernia surgery this week.
Agbonlahor and Ashley Westwood returned from respective ankle and thigh complaints to bolster Aston Villa's bid for three consecutive wins for the first time since April 2010.
Andreas Weimann netted the winner against City last Saturday and the Austrian forward might have added to his season tally when Elmohamady failed to deal with Fabian Delph's third-minute cross.
Hull spent large parts of the opening exchanges out of possession, but Villa right-back Leandro Bacuna was forced to clear over his own crossbar after Sone Aluko cleverly released Graham down the right channel in the 15th minute.
Shortly afterwards another quality delivery from the Villa left, this time by Elmohamady, asked further questions but Graham could not convert with Ron Vlaar in close attendance.
Villa responded and McGregor had to be at full stretch to palm Agbonlahor's 20-yard drive behind.
Westwood was perhaps fortunate to escape with a yellow card 10 minutes before the interval after tangling with Tom Huddlestone and swiping an arm across the towering midfielder's face.
Agbonlahor came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock seven minutes after the restart, angling Weimann's cutback narrowly past the post following a superb driving run down the left flank from Bacuna.
At the other end, Ciaran Clark timed his challenge well to deny Aluko, although the former Rangers man might have struck first time and he was replaced by Yannick Sagbo as the game entered its final quarter.
Hull left-back Maynor Figueroa sent a ball skidding across the edge of the Villa area in the 70th minute to find Elmohamady, who sliced wastefully wide.
A nasty clash of heads forced running repairs for Hull defender Curtis Davies and visiting striker Libor Kozak, while Villa boss Paul Lambert sent on Aleksandar Tonev and Jordan Bowery for Westwood and Agbonlahor in search of a final push in the last 15 minutes that ultimately failed to materialise for either side.
Hull sit eighth in the Premier League table, a point and a place better off than their opponents after seven matches.