Football

Forest held again: Match Review

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Nottingham Forest were held to their fifth draw in seven Championship games this season in a disappointing goalless encounter with Hull at the KC Stadium.

Speculative long-range efforts were the order of the day in the first period, as both sides struggled to put together meaningful periods of possession.

Forest gained the upper hand in the second half but they failed to extend Hull goalkeeper Matt Duke, despite laying siege to the home side's goal.

The visitors' best chance fell to Luke Chambers, who put a free header from a Lewis McGugan corner past the post.

Duke's opposite number Lee Camp was similarly underworked, aside from an early stop to keep out an excellent Jimmy Bullard drive.

Reds forward Robert Earnshaw had the ball in the net but fell foul of a marginal offside call 20 minutes from time.

Hull boss Nigel Pearson made no changes to the XI that beat Derby 2-0 in midweek, while Nick Barmby's inclusion among the substitutes at the expense of fellow veteran Nolberto Solano was the only alteration to the matchday squad.

Earnshaw, Luke Chambers and Paul Anderson came into the Forest starting line-up, with Kelvin Wilson absent through a calf injury and Dexter Blackstock and Nathan Tyson dropping to the bench.

Bullard almost gave Hull a dream start in the fourth minute when his dipping 30-yard effort was tipped over by a backpedalling Camp.

But the former Wigan and Fulham man also presented Forest with their best opportunity of the opening exchanges. The recently recalled midfielder fouled Earnshaw and from the resulting free-kick McGugan curled an effort narrowly past the near post.

Hull had the majority of the play during a first half sadly lacking in quality, but all they had to show for their endeavours were a succession of wild, tame and occasionally ridiculous shots from distance.

A 40-yard strike from Bullard reached Camp via a succession of bounces, drawing large guffaws from the Forest contingent.

Slashed attempts from McGugan and Anderson saw Forest faring little better as both penalty areas became virtually redundant before half-time.

Three minutes after the break Billy Davies' side showed signs of greater intent when Earnshaw bundled his way into the Hull box only for Paul McShane to block his shot.

McGugan then dragged horribly wide, but the young playmaker was beginning to look dangerous, finding space in front of the Tigers defence to engineer a succession of attacks.

In the 61st minute, a dangerous cross from Forest's Chris Gunter was headed behind by Robert Koren with Earnshaw lurking.

From the corner the visitors had the clearest chance of the game, when McGugan's teasing delivery found Chambers unmarked four yards from goal but the centre-back headed wide.

On-loan Liverpool defender Daniel Ayala excelled for Hull as Forest's sustained period of pressure continued

But Paul McKenna escaped his attentions to meet Guy Moussi's cross in the 69th minute, glancing a header wide.

Earnshaw thought he had given Forest the lead moments later when he latched onto McKenna's pass and lifted the ball over Duke, only to be judged somewhat harshly offside.

Hull enjoyed a late spell of pressure but were also unable to make the breakthrough which a lacklustre encounter never truly merited.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Jimmy Bullard
Paul Anderson
Guy Moussi
Football
Nathan Tyson
Championship
Nick Barmby
Robert Earnshaw
Lee Camp
Paul McKenna
Robert Koren
Luke Chambers
Dexter Blackstock
Nottingham Forest
Matt Duke
Chris Gunter
Daniel Ayala
Paul McShane
Kelvin Wilson
Nolberto Solano
Lewis McGugan
Anderson
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