Sunderland AFC 1 Hull City 1 - Lack of ruthless edge means Tigers have to settle for a point

If Hull City are to mount a serious challenge for the League One title, then they need to develop more of a ruthless edge in front of goal.

Reece Burke fired Hull City into an early lead at Sunderland. Pictures: Getty Images

Victory at Sunderland on Saturday evening would have moved Grant McCann's team to within two points of leaders Lincoln City with a game in hand, but despite creating enough chances to win the game, the Tigers had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Just as was the case against Charlton Athletic last time out, striker Tom Eaves was the main culprit, passing up one excellent and one decent first-half opportunity, while Mallik Wilks' finishing was also wayward.

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But, on this occasion, Hull's profligacy was to cost them at the Stadium of Light, and although a point on Wearside is nothing to be sniffed at, McCann will know that his charges could have taken all three.

Tigers chief Grant McCann.

The Tigers began the game well enough and went on to take charge of proceedings after Reece Burke handed them a 13th-minute advantage.

Sunderland keeper Lee Burge makes a mess of what should have been a routine catch from George Honeyman's right-wing free-kick and the ball eventually broke for the City centre-half to turn home inside the six-yard-box.

The moments that followed saw the hosts rocking, though with Hull looking poised to really start turning the screw, some sloppy defending allowed the Back Cats back into the game.

A heavy Eaves touch followed by a crude lunge gifted Sunderland a free-kick in midfield, and having failed to deal with the first ball, City were punished.

The lively Jack Diamond hooked a centre back across the face of goal from close to the byline, and it was all too easy for Aiden McGeady to nod home a 21st-minute equaliser at the back post.

Undeterred, McCann's men continued to play the more fluent football and should have reclaimed the advantage when Mallik Wilks' delicious left-wing cross picked out an unmarked Eaves, though the big number nine could only direct his header against the top of the cross-bar.

Another fine cross from the left by Wilks present Eaves with another sight of goal 10 minutes before the interval, however on this occasion Burge made a decent save.

A moment of hesitancy then let the home team in at the other end, Diamond seemingly taken out by the onrushing George Long on the edge of the Hull box, though referee Scott Oldham wasn't interested.

The second period began with another decent opportunity coming and then going for City as Wilks intercepted Diamond's attempted clearance, cut inside off the left, but blazed a wild strike miles over the cross-bar.

With the contest beginning to open up and both sides getting into some promising areas, more goals looked inevitable and Sunderland should have netted a second on 56 minutes, only for Charlie Wyke to fluff his lines when it looked easier to score having got on the end of Max Power's right-wing centre.

Diamond then danced into the Hull box and attempted a cheeky lob over Long, though the visiting custodian was equal to the effort.

The closing stages saw City begin to look the more likely, Wilks butchering one dangerous counter-attack before the same player saw a shot deflected just past the post shortly before the final whistle.

Sunderland: Burge (Matthews 46); McLaughlin (Gooch 46), Wright, Sanderson, McFadzean; Scowen, Leadbitter, Power; Diamond (Maguire 76), Wyke (Graham 76), McGeady (Embleton 76). Unused substitutes: O'Brien, Younger.

Hull City: Long; Emmanuel, Burke, Greaves, Fleming (Elder 84) ; Smallwood, A Jones (Lewis-Potter 66); Honeyman, Docherty, Wilks; Eaves (Magennis 41). Unused substitutes: Ingram, Coyle, Slater, Mayer.

Referee: S Oldham (Lancashire).