Sheffield United 0-0 Hull City: Match Report – News

Hull City battled out a hard-fought goalless draw with in-form play-off hopefuls Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

The tenacious Tigers produced a resolute rearguard action to blunt the Blades in a well-contested Yorkshire derby, with Marcus Forss and Ryan Longman going closest for the visitors.

Shota Arveladze named an unchanged side for the rearranged trip to South Yorkshire.

Lewie Coyle made his 50th start for his hometown team and Regan Slater returned to his boyhood club less than three weeks after leaving.

There was one alteration on the bench as Tom Eaves replaced ex-Blade Tyler Smith.

The game had barely got under way when play was stopped, Richie Smallwood receiving treatment to a bloodied nose and requiring a change of shirt.

Paul Heckingbottom’s hosts had won four of their previous five games and quickly took control, fashioning two good openings from set-pieces inside the first ten minutes.

Conor Hourihane’s clever corner delivery to the edge of the box picked out the untracked run of Oliver Norwood but he steered his half-volley over the bar.

Norwood then lifted in a free-kick which Jack Robinson glanced wide when well-placed after more suspect marking.

City were forced into a change in 19 minutes as Coyle came off with a hamstring injury and Callum Elder was sent on in his place, completing an all left-footed back four.

A fragmented first half was further interrupted as Marcus Forss suffered a cut to his head, leaving two number-less players on the field.

The hosts missed a good opportunity as Sean McLoughlin’s wayward clearance from Hourihane’s cross broke for Morgan Gibbs-White but a crucial block deflected the ball over.

The Tigers’ first opening came on the half-hour, initiated by Jacob Greaves’ searching pass down the left which Keane Leane-Potter collected on the byline and cut back to George Honeyman.

He in turn found Ryan Longman, who was crowded out, with Smallwood playing in Forss but the Finland international pulled his angled drive wide of the far upright.

Lewis-Potter was getting some joy down the left-hand side and took aim from 30 yards, sending a dipping strike wide of the far post.

Back came the Blades as Rhys Norrington-Davies’ low center towards Gibbs-White was well blocked inside the six-yard box by Greaves, with Matt Ingram pouncing on the loose ball.

Ingram then stood strong to made a vital stop as McLoughlin’s misjudgment of a long ball allowed Oliver McBurnie to get in behind but the forward’s fierce near-post effort was beaten away.

Smallwood whipped a first-time 20-yarder over the bar and Lewis-Potter found the arms of home keeper Wes Foderingham as the visitors ended the half positively.

However, City very nearly fell behind in first-half injury time as a stretching McBurnie headed wide from close range from Norwood’s right-wing cross.

McBurnie spurned another good opportunity shortly after the restart, rising above McLoughlin but nodding Norwood’s delivery wide.

The Scotland international then collected Gibbs-White’s backheel but, off balance, was unable to obtain sufficient purchase on his right-footed shot to seriously trouble Ingram.

The Tigers’ number one was providing a reliable last line of defense – none more so than in the 56th minute.

A lightning counter-attack from a City corner left the visitors outnumbered, Gibbs-White putting Iliman Ndiaye through one-on-one but Ingram blocked with his chest.

The Blades barrage continued as McBurnie had penalty shouts waved away, Hourihane blasted a 20-yard free-kick wide via a deflection and Gibbs-White crashed a well-struck volley off target.

After weathering the storm and now into the final 10 minutes, Ryan Longman lined one up from the edge of the D and curled a delightful effort inches wide.

McBurnie rose highest to meet Norwood’s corner but his header grazed the roof of the net and Norrington-Davies dragged wide in the final action of a satisfying night for the Tigers.

Sheff United (3-4-3): Wes Fordingham; Chris Basham, John Egan, Jack Robinson; George Baldock, Oliver Norwood, Conor Hourihane (Sander Berge 79′), Rhys Norrington-Davies; Iliman Ndiaye (Billy Sharp 68′), Oliver McBurnie, Morgan Gibbs-White.

Subs not used: Adam Davies, John Fleck, Ben Davies, Charlie Goode, Daniel Jebbison.

Hull City (4-2-3-1): Matt Ingram; Lewie Coyle (Callum Elder 19′), Sean McLoughlin, Jacob Greaves, Brandon Fleming; Richie Smallwood ©, Regan Slater (Alfie Jones 71′); Ryan Longman, George Honeyman, Keane Lewis-Potter, Marcus Forss (Tom Eaves 55′).

Subs not used: Harvey Cartwright, Greg Docherty, George Moncur, Di’Shon Bernard.

attendance: 27,601

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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