Hull City 0 Reading 0: Adkins takes positives in another clean sheet

Hull's Jon Toral pleads with the referee after his first half goal was disallowed. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
Hull's Jon Toral pleads with the referee after his first half goal was disallowed. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
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HULL City remain locked in a relegation scrap after failing to find a way through the Royals’ rearguard at the KC Stadium.

They had a first-half effort ruled out but rarely troubled goalkeeper Vito Mannone, who enjoyed two spells on loan with the Tigers from Arsenal.

Reading, who repelled late pressure, were also toothless in attack and they are also looking over their shoulders at the bottom three.

Republic of Ireland midfield player David Meyler returned after over a month out with a hamstring injury as the Tigers made six changes from their FA Cup side.

Seb Larsson also returned to partner him as goalkeeper Allan McGregor, Michael Dawson, Jackson Irvine and Nouha Dicko were restored to the starting line-up.

Reading, aiming to avoid being sucked into a relegation fight, were led by former Tigers defender Paul McShane while striker Sone Aluko was on the bench.

Aluko was called into action in the 26th when injury-prone playmaker John Swift went down off the ball and had to be replaced.

Before that, the closest either side had come was from a snap-shot volley from Dicko which flew over the bar.

McShane then had to hobble off to a rousing reception from the Hull fans as Tiago Ilori replaced him in the 30th minute.

Hull were denied a 40th minute goal when referee Darren England ruled that Jon Toral had illegally forced the ball out of the clutches of Mannone and into the net after the goalkeeper had made a smart save down to his left from Jarrod Bowen, set up by Dicko.

The second half was a tame affair until Mannone blocked from Bowen at the far post after Dicko had failed to connect with a 60th minute cross from Toral.

McGregor made a great double save from Liam Moore before attacking duo Fraizer Campbell and Evandro replaced Dicko and Jackson Irvine in the 65th minute for Hull.

Henriksen also replaced Meyler in the 71st minute.

Ilori sent Bowen tumbling on the central edge of the area and Larsson drove the free-kick inches wide of the far post. But that was as close as they came.

Adkins took comfort from the fact his side had not conceded, saying “I think from our point of view it’s the third clean sheet in five games. We are on a roll of keeping clean sheets.

“We have nullified a lot of their strengths. We have had opportunities to go and score.

“We finished the game very strongly, we were on the front foot. I know we need to win games of football, we are after the three points. We are building towards that.”