Hull City 0 Sheffield Weds 0: Tigers keep another clean sheet as Owls' Fernando Forestieri sees red again

A LOT can happen in ten hours. You can fly across the Atlantic to the United States, for instance. Or make a good fist of reading that most epic of novels War and Peace.

Sheffield Wednesdays Gary Hooper holds off Hull Citys David Meyler during last nights Championship match at KC Stadium (Picture: Steve Ellis).

Which just goes to show how well Hull City have done to go a tad over ten hours since last conceding a goal on home soil.

Reading striker Nick Blackman was the last opposition player to find the net at the KC Stadium. And that was way back on December 16, well over six games ago.

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It is a hugely impressive effort from the Tigers backline but also one that came oh so close to being shattered last night.

In the end, City and Sheffield Wednesday claimed a point apiece from a goalless draw that saw the visitors dominate the first half before Steve Bruce’s men assumed control after the break.

But it took the crossbar at the North Stand end plus a couple of stunning saves from Allan McGregor during that first half before Hull could chalk up another clean sheet.

Fernando Forestieri was the Wednesday player denied by the woodwork. He also saw an effort kept out by McGregor’s agility.

However, if that was frustrating for the Italian then it was nothing compared to how he felt when dismissed for the second time in seven days.

As at Preston North End, the Italian went for two yellow cards, the second of which was for diving. Referee Tim Robinson’s decision left Carlos Carvalhal incandescent with rage but, overall, the Portuguese will have surely been satisfied with his side’s efforts.

Especially in the first half when in front of Sky’s live cameras, at the KC Stadium for the second night running, they hassled and harried the leaders out of their stride.

Twenty four hours earlier, the Tigers of Castleford had prevailed in Super League against Hull FC and Steve Bruce’s men had been hoping to do the same against the Owls.

In those opening 45 minutes, however, Wednesday made their hosts look toothless and it was only thanks to McGregor that the breakthrough did not come.

The Scot was first called into action on 14 minutes when brilliant reflexes kept out a Barry Bannan drive that had been deflected towards his own goal by Curtis Davies.

It was a fine stop and one McGregor followed by acrobatically tipping over a Forestieri free-kick just before the half hour after Michael Dawson had fouled the Italian.

From the resulting corner, Michael Turner – back at the KC Stadium, a stage where he starred for the Tigers in a three-year spell – beat his marker to Bannan’s sweet delivery and was unfortunate to see his header loop on to the top of the net.

If that was a let-off for the hosts then City had cause to be even more grateful that their proud record of not having conceded at home since early December remained intact nine minutes before the interval.

Forestieri, collecting the ball a full 30 yards from goal, took one touch and then unleashed a ferocious shot that beat McGregor but not the crossbar.

Such was the pace the Owls striker hit the effort, the ball rebounded so far there was no need for the Hull defence to clear the danger.

It was a similar story for the Wednesday backline for much of the first half. Keiren Westwood did have one notable save to make when he blocked a Robert Snodgrass shot at the back post after Moses Odubajo had raced clear down the right flank.

But, otherwise, the Owls defence afforded the Republic of Ireland international plenty of protection during a first half in which the only thing missing from a visitors’ perspective was the goal their efforts deserved.

Wednesday also had the first chance of the second half when Forestieri fired a shot that McGregor saved low to his right.

After that, though, the Tigers finally found their attacking teeth as, first, Sam Clucas was played through only to dink his shot into the side netting with just Westwood to beat.

A sweeping move that began with a tackle next to his own corner flag by Snodgrass then ended with Abel Hernandez bringing a save from the Wednesday goalkeeper despite not managing a sweet connection.

Sam Clucas aped Forestieri in the first half by striking the woodwork following a neat exchange of passes on the edge of the area with Jake Livermore before Curtis Davies flashed a header just wide from a Snodgrass corner.

As the game moved into the final quarter, tired legs in the Owls camp continued to allow Hull to dictate proceedings as Livermore shot over and Snodgrass fired straight at Westwood from distance.

Livermore blazed another effort well over before Westwood pulled off a fine save to deny Hernandez after initially spilling Snodgrass’ cross under pressure from Chuba Akpom.

Westwood was at it again five minutes from time when he got down smartly to keep out a Hernandez drive

It proved to be the last save of note, the remaining drama instead surrounding Forestieri. Having been booked for a heavy challenge on Robertson late in normal time, the Italian looked to have one last chance of breaking the deadlock.

However, after nudging the ball past Dawson, Forestieri clattered to the floor. Robinson had no hesitation in brandishing a second yellow card of the night to the striker. It was a sour end to an otherwise entertaining contest that deservedly ended with honours even and Hull’s defence not having been beaten in 601 minutes.

Hull City: McGregor; Odubajo, Dawson, Davies, Robertson; Snodgrass (Elmohamady 90), Meyler (Powell 62), Livermore, Clucas; Diame (Akpom 78), Hernandez. Substitutes (not used): Jakupovic, Huddlestone, Maguire, Maloney.

Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood; Palmer, Lees, Turner, Bennett; McGeady (Wallace 64), Lee, Hutchinson (Lopez 67), Bannan; Forestieri, Hooper (Nuhiu 83). Substitutes (not used): Price, Loovens, McGugan, Joao.

Referee: T Robinson (Sussex).