Wednesday 13 December 2017

Keepers take plaudits

Hull 0 Stoke 0

Allan McGregor the Hull City goalkeeper makes a save from Peter Crouch of Stoke City
Allan McGregor the Hull City goalkeeper makes a save from Peter Crouch of Stoke City

Rory Dollard

Goalkeepers Asmir Begovic and Allan McGregor took the plaudits as their smart reactions ensured a goalless draw between Hull and Stoke in front of the television cameras at the KC Stadium.

Begovic kept Hull out with good saves from Ahmed Elmohamady and Yannick Sagbo before the break and his opposite number twice prevented Peter Crouch in the last half-hour. McGregor's first save from Crouch, a one-handed stop from just a couple of yards, landed at the feet of Stephen Ireland but when he tapped home he was flagged offside. Elmohamady then took a lofted pass neatly on his chest. He struck a sweet volley as the ball dropped but Begovic sprang into action to palm it over the crossbar.

On the hour, Begovic again kept Stoke in it again. Maynor Figueroa's cross found Elmohamady. His header lacked power but required a smart save from the Bosnian keeper.

From that point on, it was Stoke who took the game by the scruff of the neck.

The ball was finally put in the net in the 70th minute but an offside flag was against Stoke. Geoff Cameron's superb cross found Crouch and had his header not been brilliantly clawed back by McGregor it would surely have been 1-0.

But Ireland, a fraction ahead of James Chester, became active as soon as the save was made and his point-blank finish was chalked off.

McGregor produced another fine save moments later, tipping Crouch's goalbound attempt wide, and the resulting corner was headed against the bar by Ryan Shawcross. As Stoke pressed, the hosts looked more ragged but held on to share the spoils.

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