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Match Reports

Hull held to earn away point

Full report from a goalless affair at the KCOM Stadium

13 January 2018

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The Royals showed guts and determination to come away from the KCOM Stadium with an away point in

  • Toral has goal disallowed for kicking the ball out of Mannone's hands
  • Swift forces McGregor into fine first half save from a set piece
  • Injuries to Swift and McShane force two first half changes
  • Mannone parries Bowen effort on the hour, but McGregor produces an amazing double save to deny Liam Moore.

Omar Richards was handed the second league start of his career to begin the game at left-back, while Liam Moore returned to the starting eleven after a knock ruled him out of the FA Cup clash at Stevenage last week. Jon Dadi Böðvarsson was back in the squad too after illness.

The first five minutes saw both teams establish a pattern of playing and Reading's first foray forward came through Mo Barrow, who beat Fikayo Tomori to dart towards the edge of the City box before being cynically blocked off by Michael Dawson as he looked to create an opening.

John Swift took the set piece from the left side and he forced a tidy save from Allan McGregor who palmed the midfielder's free-kick around the base of his right hand post.

Kermorgant had a shot on the turn charged down on the edge of the Tigers box, but a foul by Van den Berg on Ola Aina handed set piece specialist Seb Larsson a chance to direct a free kick on target with a quarter of an hour played. The wall did its job, the ball deflecting wide for a corner.

Tomori crossed from the right soon after for Dicko to slice a first time volley over the crossbar from 15 yards out. And Dicko was able to set himself moments later to take aim at Vito Mannone's goal - this time he dragged his left-footed effort wide.

Midway through the half, the Royals had to make an early change - John Swift hobbling off to be replaced by former Hull man Sone Aluko.

And Liam Moore needed to hack clear a Tomori header after a floated cross to the far post presented an opportunity to the home side. 

Reading's injury issues got even worse when Paul McShane was forced off after half an hour to be replaced by Tiago Ilori at the back.

With five minutes of the half remaining, the hosts had the ball in the back of the net - only for it to be disallowed. Bowen forced Mannone into a good low one-handed save and the Royals stopper retrieved the ball to get his hands on it before Jon Toral smashed it out of the goalkeeper's grasp and into the back of the net. City celebrated, but referee Mr England ruled for a free kick Reading's way.

And although Reading ended the first half the stronger, the teams went into the dressing room level.

Half time | Hull City 0-0 Reading

Toral had an early chance to test Mannone at the start of the second period, but after chesting a dinked cross down he scuffed his shot from a narrow angle and it dribbled into the Royals stopper's arms.

And Mannone needed to be alert to parry a powerful Bowen strike after a floated cross had landed at the midfielder's feet in a good position inside the Reading box.

At the other end, Kermorgant fizzed a good low cross into the Tigers' area but it was intercepted before it could reach Barrow in the middle.

And a glorious chance presented itself to Moore who connected with an inswinging Aluko corner to power a downward header at goal, only for McGregor to save instinctively and then somehow shovel the rebound - off Moore again - over his crossbar.

With 17 minutes left, Seb Larsson stood over a free kick on the edge of the Royals box but this time he angled his shot wide of the wall and the right post.

The home side rose the tempo with the final five minutes of the match remaining and a long throw from the left caused panic in the Reading box - before it was eventually hacked clear of danger.

In the final minute of the ninety, Barrow teed up Kermorgant whose sidefooted strike deflected off the sliding body of Dawson and skidded just wide of a helpless McGregor's goal.

Three minutes of injury time were signalled and Ilori connected with an Aluko corner only to direct a difficult header over the bar. Then at the other end, Mannone gathered in a speculative effort from Toral that bobbled nastily in front of the keeper.

Some resolute defending at the death earned the Royals a valuable away point in a goalless affair.

Full time | Hull City 0-0 Reading

Hull City: McGregor, Tomori, Aina, Dawson (c), Hector, Meyler (Henriksen 72), Larsson, Toral, Irvine (Evandro 65), Bowen, Dicko (Campbell 65).
Subs: Marshall, Clark, Stewart, Diomande.
Yellow: Larsson

Reading: Reading: Mannone, Gunter, Richards, McShane (c) (Ilori 30), Moore, Van den Berg, Evans, Swift (Aluko 26), McCleary (Bacuna 77), Barrow, Kermorgant.
Subs: Jaakkola, Blackett, Kelly, Böðvarsson.

Referee: Mr D England
Att: 14,300 (383 away)

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