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Match Reports

Sheffield United 0-0 Hull City: Match Report

15 February 2022

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 keenly-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 underway 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 nodded across goal and wide from eight yards after more suspect marking.

City were forced into a change on 19 minutes as Coyle pulled up with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Callum Elder, creating 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.

Sean McLoughlin’s wayward clearance from Hourihane’s cross presented Morgan Gibbs-White with an opportunity from 12 yards 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 Longman, who was crowded out, with Smallwood squeezing the ball to Forss but the Finn 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 centre 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 block Oliver McBurnie’s near-post effort after McLoughlin misjudged the bounce of Hourihane’s clipped long ball.

Smallwood whipped a first-time 20-yarder over the bar and Lewis-Potter found the arms of home keeper Wes Foderingham in a positive end to the half.

However, City very nearly fell behind in first-half injury time as McBurnie, at full stretch, headed Norwood’s teasing cross over from close range.

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

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

The Tigers' number one was proving a reliable last line of defence - none more so than in the 56th minute.

A lightning counter-attack from a corner left the visitors outnumbered, Gibbs-White charging forward and sliding Iliman Ndiaye through one-on-one but Ingram blocked superbly 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 beautifully struck volley off target.

Having weathered the storm, City could have pinched victory on 83 minutes as 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 Arveladze's men.

 

Sheff Utd (3-4-3): Wes Foderingham; 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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