Hull 0-0 Derby: Nigel Adkins' side slow the progress of promotion-chasing Rams
By Press Association
Last Updated: 26/12/17 6:32pm
Hull and high-flying Derby battled out a gritty 0-0 Sky Bet Championship draw at the KCOM Stadium.
The hosts made a quickfire start to the game. Following a precise Matej Vydra cross, David Nugent cracked in an early effort which Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor did well to keep out.
The Tigers ought to have struck after eight minutes when Kamil Grosicki pulled the ball back neatly into the path of Jon Toral, but the Spaniard placed a diving header disappointingly wide.
Former Hull defender Curtis Davies then went close for Derby, heading over the crossbar after he dashed in to meet Chris Baird's cross.
The Rams continued to press as half-time approached and Bradley Johnson saw a well-struck shot blocked, while Andreas Weimann lashed an effort too high following a neatly-worked free-kick routine.
Hull needed to up their tempo and they finally made some inroads when Nouha Dicko carved out space in the Derby box, only to see his goal-bound strike blocked by Baird.
Shortly before the break the Rams came mighty close to a breakthrough. Baird crossed in smartly for Weimann, but his point-blank header was superbly beaten away by the alert McGregor.
A bumper crowd in excess of 18,000 saw the hosts go close in the opening stages of the second period as Grosicki's shot was bravely blocked on its way towards goal.
Toral also threatened as he lifted a strike just over the crossbar and Dicko came close to making a breath-taking breakthrough for Hull, but his audacious attempt from a back-heel drifted harmlessly wide.
Toral and Dicko then combined superbly for the Tigers, with the latter driving a shot off-target with the Derby defence back-pedalling, before Michael Hector headed Jarrod Bowen's free-kick wide at the far post.
The best late chance fell to Nugent, who was thwarted by a terrific stop from McGregor as it finished goalless.
Nigel Adkins: "We created some really good opportunities so it's disappointing that we haven't gone on to win the game.
"The second-half performance in particular was very good. We were the dominant force I thought, and we were in the ascendancy throughout much of the game. A big positive for me is the clean sheet. Don't forget that has come against a really good Derby team.
"They have been flying of late, they are on a roll, so for us to keep them at bay is a big plus.The supporters were great too, they really got behind the players. The atmosphere was brilliant and the fans really drove the players on."
Gary Rowett: "It wasn't a great performance from either side but it's not always about that as far as I'm concerned. We were resilient, and we kept a good Hull side out.
"A fifth clean sheet in a row is excellent so I'm really pleased with that. We saw players putting their bodies on the line and that's what I'm after. Things like that are just as important as our attacking play. We didn't get the ball forward enough, and it can be difficult to pick the tempo up.
"There wasn't really enough quality out there, the attacks we created were only fleeting really. In the end the game fizzled out somewhat, but I'm not going to complain too much because Hull are a good side - they've picked up a lot since Nigel Adkins took over."