Hull City 1 (Davies 40)
Cardiff City 1 (Whittingham 59)
Hull City were forced to settle for a point from a 1-1 draw with Cardiff City at the KC Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Despite taking the lead through Curtis Davies’ first goal for the club shortly before half time, the Tigers were pegged back by Peter Whittingham’s second half leveller.
Steve Bruce kept faith with the same eleven that had started at Manchester City a fortnight earlier and it was the Tigers that were out of the blocks quickly to create the first big chance of the afternoon seven minutes in. Sone Aluko turned nicely on the edge of the box before seeing his left-footed effort parried straight into the path of Danny Graham by goalkeeper Joe Lewis, but the striker somehow managed to lift a shot high over the bar from close range.
Cardiff then enjoyed a good spell of possession and had claims for a penalty turned down when Kim Bo-Kyung went to ground too easily under James Chester’s challenge.
Former Tiger loanee Fraizer Campbell was booked for 16th-minute challenge on Chester before Lewis did well to clear Ahmed Elmohamady’s cross with Graham ready to pounce.
A positive run from Aluko took him into the Cardiff box in the 26th minute, but his final shot was into the side-netting while at the other end, Allan McGregor came off his line quickly as Campbell threatened to get on the end of a long ball.
Aluko dragged a low shot wide from the edge of the box before Tom Huddlestone saw an effort deflected wide and it was from that corner that the Tigers took the lead. Robert Koren’s delivery was cleared out to the right wing where Huddlestone returned a delicious cross for Davies to ghost in and head home from six yards.
The Tigers looked to add another before half time, but Aluko saw his shot blocked for a corner and this time, Cardiff cleared the set-piece successfully.
Half Time: Tigers 1-0 Cardiff
Despite Cardiff making a change at the interval with Nicky Maynard replacing Bo-Kyung, the Tigers were the brighter in the opening moments of the second period with Maynor Figueroa seeing a shot deflected wide.
As Cardiff looked to apply some pressure, the Tigers quickly turned defence into attack through Graham, but his clever through ball was just too strong for Aluko and allowed Lewis to mop up the danger.
But the visitors were coming into the game more and Jake Livermore did well to block from Aron Gunnarsson.
Cardiff’s Ben Turner picked up a yellow card for a trip on Aluko and from the resulting free kick, Huddlestone’s clever pass was met with a low drive from Koren, but the goal-bound shot was blocked.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, the next chance went Cardiff’s way and they made the most of it as the ball came in from the right and Peter Whittingham was on hand to apply the finish, giving McGregor no chance.
Cardiff’s tails were up and when right back Kevin Theophile-Catherine crossed to the near post, Gunnarsson really should have done better with a header that went wide.
Bruce made a change as he introduced Stephen Quinn in place of Brady and the change seemed to give the side fresh energy as Huddlestone and Graham combined for the striker to see a shot deflected wide.
The Tigers had the ball in the net 11 minutes from time when Aluko turned home Quinn’s cross at the far post, but the offside flag cut short the celebrations with replays showing it was the right call.
Koren and Aluko both tried and failed to win the game in the final ten minutes while Huddlestone saw a free kick blocked.
The final chance fell to Graham in added time as he rose above the Cardiff defence to meet Elmohamady’s cross, but his header flew straight into the hands of Lewis.
Tigers: Allan McGregor, Ahmed Elmohamady, James Chester, Curtis Davies, Maynor Figueroa, Tom Huddlestone, Jake Livermore, Robert Koren, Robbie Brady (Stephen Quinn 67), Danny Graham, Sone Aluko.
Subs Not Used: Eldin Jakupovic, Paul McShane, Alex Bruce, Liam Rosenior, David Meyler, George Boyd.
Cardiff: Joe Lewis, Andrew Taylor, Steven Caulker, Ben Turner, Peter Whittingham, Gary Medel, Fraizer Campbell (Rudy Gestede 65), Kim Bo-Kyung (Nicky Maynard 46), Aron Gunnarsson, Don Cowie, Kevin Theophile-Catherine.
Subs Not Used: Simon Moore, Mark Hudson, Peter Odemwingie, Craig Noone, Jordon Mutch.
Referee: Mr R. Madley.
Attendance: 21,949 (1,268 visiting fans).