Sport Mole's minute-by-minute report of Hull City's 0-0 draw at home to Stoke City in the Premier League.
By Jack Prescott, Rugby Editor Filed: Sunday, December 15, 2013 at 09:53 UK
Last Updated: Sunday, December 15, 2013 at 09:53 UK
Hull City and Stoke City shared the spoils at the KC Stadium on Saturday as they played out a goalless draw in the Premier League.
The closest that either side came to finding the net during a drab encounter was when Ryan Shawcross headed against the crossbar from a corner with 15 minutes remaining.
However, a lack of action at both ends of the pitch saw the teams come away with a point apiece.
Read Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report below to find out how the action unfolded.
4.31pmHello there and welcome to Sport Mole's live text coverage of this evening's Premier League encounter as Hull City welcome Stoke City to the KC Stadium. We should have some team news through for you shortly.
4.36pmHull boss Steve Bruce has opted to name an unchanged starting XI following Monday's 1-1 draw at Swansea City. That includes Danny Graham in attack after the striker scored his first Premier League goal in nearly a year at the Liberty Stadium.
4.43pmMeanwhile, Stoke manager Mark Hughes has made a total of three changes in the wake of his side's impressive 3-2 win over Chelsea last weekend. Marc Wilson, Stephen Ireland and Oussama Assaidi are all given the nod, while Robert Huth, Charlie Adam and Jonathan Walters make way.
4.45pmUPDATE: There are five matches currently being played in the Premier League and we will bring you those results as soon as they finish.
5.04pmIt's safe to say that these two sides have been in indifferent form for pretty much the entire season, though it's Stoke who have seen more of an improvement in recent weeks. Mark Hughes's side found themselves lurking dangerously near the drop zone at the start of the campaign, but they've managed to crawl up the table in the past month or so. That said, they will only be four points off the drop zone if they lose tonight.
5.09pmOf course, there's also something of a sub-plot to tonight's match as former Manchester United teammates Steve Bruce and Mark Hughes meet on the touchlines. The pair were an integral part of Sir Alex Ferguson's early reign at Old Trafford.
5.16pmREFEREE WATCH: The official for tonight's match at the KC Stadium is Mike Dean.
5.18pmHEAD TO HEAD: Stoke have the slightly better record when it comes to past meetings between the teams with 21 wins to Hull's 16. Meanwhile, there have been 17 draws.
5.19pmThe last time that Hull and Stoke faced each other was in the 2009-10 season with each side picking up a win. Hull came out on top 2-1 at the KC Stadium before Stoke saw off the Tigers 2-0 at the Britannia Stadium.
5.21pmAh yes, the Tigers. Hull formally applied to have their name changed to the Hull Tigers this week, much to the anger of the club's supporters. The whole debacle seems to be up in the air as the FA confirmed that they would consult fans over the move before it possibly comes into play next season, but you can be sure that there will be a few protests in and around the stadium tonight.
5.25pmBoth sets of players are in the tunnel as the wait to emerge onto the pitch at the KC Stadium. Kickoff is not far away now.
1 minThe pre-match rituals have been completed and it will be Hull to get us underway. Here we go!
3 minIt's been a far from frantic start, but Stoke have had the better of the opening exchanges. It looks as if the midfield is going to be congested tonight as both teams pack plenty of bodies around the centre of the park.
6 minStoke continue to set the early pace with some snappy passing in the Hull half, though it's the hosts who create the first bit of danger as Huddlestone's inquisitive free kick is cleared by the visiting defence.
7 minHull have the first proper attempt at goal as Figueroa has a crack from outside the box, but Begovic gets down to hold what was in the end a tame effort.
10 minThis fixture isn't one of the most exciting on paper, and unfortunately it's lived up to its billing in the opening 10 minutes. There's been very little action at either end of the pitch as both sides seem happy to pass and probe at a slow pace.
12 minSAVE! That's a good stop from Begovic, who tips Elmohamady's dipping drive over the crossbar. Hull try to make something of the resulting corner, but Stoke do well the clear their lines.
15 minIt's now Hull who are starting to control the tempo of the game. The hosts are showing plenty of composure in their passing while Stoke chase around for possession.
16 minCHANCE! Assaidi's corner from the right causes all sorts of problems in the Hull penalty area as the ball bobbled about, but Hull just about manage to hood the danger away.
19 minSomething of a half-chance for Hull as Graham sees his effort blocked before the ball comes back to him inside the box. The striker tries to weave his way through the Stoke defence, though an extra touch allows Begovic to come off his line and snuff out the danger.
20 minSAVE! Almost the opening goal for Hull! Elmohamady does brilliantly to make space on the right before crossing for Sagbo. The French striker takes a touch before firing towards goal, but Begovic gets down low to make the save. Again, the home side can't make anything from the resulting corner.
25 minCHANCE! Close again for Hull as they crank up the pressure! Huddlestone's free kick from the right is met by Davies, but the defender can only glance his header narrowly wide of the post. That was inches away from being the opening goal of this match.
28 minThere's a slightly more competitive edge to this game now thanks to those two chances for Hull. Stoke seem to have woken up a bit because of them. However, there's still not an abundance of excitement to shout about as the two teams continue to knock the ball around at a fairly harmless pace.
31 minA bit of a sarcastic cheer from the Stoke fans after Elmohamady is penalised for a foul on Muniesa. One gets the feeling that they aren't too happy with Mike Dean's performance so far, though to be fair he's done little wrong in what has been an uneventful match.
34 minThings are starting to get a little scrappy out there now. Both sides are giving away silly fouls, making for a lack of flow to the game. Not sure what you want for Christmas, but a goal in this match wouldn't go amiss.
35 minHuddlestone takes aim from around 25 yards for Hull, but the midfielder steers his effort wide of Begovic's right post.
38 minCHANCE! Stoke show signs of life as Ireland threads the ball through to Arnautovic on the right before the midfielder hits a tempting cross into the centre of the Hull box. However, it's just a bit too far in front of Crouch to get a touch on it.
42 minCHANCE! It's a decent opening for Hull as Graham's flick-on finds Sagbo, but the striker snatches at his shot from inside the box and the ball goes high over the crossbar. Those kind of opportunities have been few and far between this evening.
45 minThe fourth official indicates that there will be one minute of added time at the end of this first half.
6.20pmReferee Mike Dean blows the half-time whistle to bring an end to a fairly woeful first half of football at the KC Stadium as Hull and Stoke go in goalless at the break.
6.22pmThere has been very little to get excited about so far, with both sides struggling to create any meaningful chances in front of goal. Let's hope that there will be a bit more action after the break.
6.25pmRemember, the winner of tonight's match will climb into the top half of the table. Surely that's a tempting carrot for one of these teams?!
6.27pmThere have been a total of six Premier League matches that have already taken place today, so here come those scores in case you missed them earlier:
PREMIER LEAGUE FULL-TIME RESULTS:
Cardiff City 1-0 West Bromwich Albion Chelsea 2-1 Crystal Palace Everton 4-1 Fulham Manchester City 6-3 Arsenal Newcastle United 1-1 Southampton West Ham United 0-0 Sunderland
6.31pmIt will be interesting to see if either manager feels it necessary to make any changes at the break. There isn't a wealth of options on either bench, though some fresh legs might be just what this match needs.
46 minAnyway, the players are back out and it will by Stoke to get us underway. No changes at the break.
49 minBoth teams have started the second half where they pretty much left off in the first. There's plenty of probing around in midfield, but little in the way of penetration. Still, it's Stoke who are looking just that bit brighter at the moment.
50 minWHOOSH! Stoke have an attempt at goal as Whelan's eyes light up from all of 30 yards, but the midfielder smashes a half-volley high into the stands. Not the best effort he's ever hit.
54 minSomething of a half-chance for the hosts as Livermore flashes a harmless volley well wide from just inside the box. This game is still plodding a long at a punishingly slow pace.
55 minCHANCE! That's more like it! A Stoke corner from the right somehow finds its way through to Shawcross who can only poke the ball wide from close range. To be fair to the defender it didn't seem like he was expecting the ball to run through to him with so many bodies inside the penalty area.
58 minA bit of danger for Stoke there as Myler's cross is collected by Begovic. Sagbo then goes into the book impeding the goalkeeper when he was about to kick the ball out of his hands.
59 minSAVE! What a stop from Begovic! Figueroa's cross is met by the head of Elmohamady at the back post, but the Stoke goalkeeper is there to claw the ball off the line when it looked like it was going in. Great stuff from the Bosnian.
60 minCHANCE! A mistake by Figueroa allows Arnautovic in but the midfielder takes too long in picking out Assaidi, allowing the Hull defence to clear.
63 minCHANCE! We're now seeing a fair bit of action at either end of the pitch, and not before time! Livermore unleashes a shot from out of nowhere that deflects narrowly wide for a corner, but Hull can't make anything of it. This match is starting to get a little bit end to end as we enter the final 25 minutes.
66 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Changes for both sides here as Alex Bruce is replaced by Robbie Brady for Hull, while Erik Pieters enters the fray in place of Marc Muniesa for Stoke.
70 minTwenty minutes of normal time left and we're still awaiting our first goal. Both teams have shown a bit more attacking intent in this half than the first, though it's difficult to see where the breakthrough will come as both teams carry on looking tentative.
70 minDISALLOWED GOAL! Almost the opener for Stoke, but Ireland's goal is ruled out for offside. The midfielder knocked in the rebound after Crouch's header had been saved, though the linesman's flag was up. Looking back, it was just about the right call.
74 minOFF THE BAR! That's as close as we've come as Shawcross heads against the crossbar from a corner. The Stoke captain did well do rise above his marker, but he just couldn't direct the ball an inch below the woodwork.
77 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Hull make another changes as Liam Rosenior comes on in place of David Meyler. Meanwhile, Wilson Palacios replaces Marc Wilson for the visitors.
81 minSUBSTITUTION: Hull make their last change of the match now as Danny Graham leaves the pitch for George Boyd. Can either side find a winner with less than 10 minutes of normal time remaining?
85 minJust the five minutes of normal time left now and it looks as if this one is heading for a goalless draw. There have been the odd flashes of excitement, but in truth it's been as drab a match as you're likely to see this season.
88 minThe two teams look happy to play it sensibly during these final few stages as the full-time whistle draws ever nearer. If Mike Dean had a merciful bone in his body he would add very little stoppage time to this match.
89 minSUBSTITUTION: Charlie Adam replaces Marko Arnautovic for Stoke.
7.22pmMike Dean blows the full-time whistle and it has ended goalless between Hull City and Stoke City. Not the most enthralling of encounters, but both teams are likely to be happy with a point.
7.24pmAnyway, that's all from me but don't forget that you can keep up to date with all the reaction from tonight's match right here on Sports Mole. We also have reports and reaction from today's other six matches in the Premier League, so have a look around and fill your boots. Thanks for your company and enjoy the rest of your evening. Goodnight!