- Hull stay two points clear at top of table
- Fifth successive clean sheet for the Tigers
- Wednesday hold four-point cushion in sixth
- Forestieri sent off in successive games
PROMOTION hopefuls Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday played out a goalless Yorkshire derby in the Championship at the KC Stadium.
Wednesday had the better of the first half as Fernando Forestieri struck the crossbar with a fierce 25-yard effort.
But Hull dominated the second period with Sam Clucas hitting the inside of the post and Abel Hernandez going close on a couple of occasions.
Forestieri – who had only just returned from a one-match ban – was controversially sent off in stoppage time for a second bookable offence.
The striker went over the challenge of Michael Dawson but was adjudged to have dived by referee Tim Robinson, with replays proving that the Hull captain appeared to make clear contact.
Wednesday head coach Carlos Carvalhal felt a burning sense of injustice and that Forestieri could have broken his leg, while even Hull counterpart Steve Bruce admitted the decision was “harsh” and “poor”.
The result means the Tigers miss out on the chance to go four points clear ahead of second-placed Burnley’s trip to Bolton tomorrow, while Wednesday remain two points behind Derby in sixth place.
The sides drew 1-1 at Hillsborough in October and could not be separated again as neither team took advantage of spells in which they were on top.
Wednesday would have been happier at the interval with Forestieri going closest when rattling the woodwork with a sweetly-struck effort.
Hull defender Curtis Davies almost inadvertently scored an own goal early on when diverting Barry Bannan’s low shot towards Allan McGregor, who improvised well to save from point-blank range.
McGregor also had to tip over a Forestieri free-kick and Michael Turner almost netted on his KC Stadium return with a near-post header which looped inches over.
The hosts’ clearest sighting of goal in the opening 45 minutes came when Robert Snodgrass pulled away at the back post from Moses Odubajo’s centre but was denied superbly by Keiren Westwood.
The second half was in stark contrast, with the league leaders upping the ante to put a tiring Wednesday on the back foot.
Clucas passed up a glorious chance when played in by Andy Robertson before curling against the inside of the post after exchanging passes with Snodgrass on the edge of the box.
The unusually quiet Hernandez, Hull’s leading scorer this term, forced Westwood in to action on three different occasions and Davies headed wide from a Snodgrass corner.
Following the game’s biggest talking point, Wednesday survived five minutes of stoppage time with 10 men to hold out for an important point but are now winless in three league games.
For Hull, it was another frustrating evening as Bruce’s men had to settle for a second successive stalemate on home soil having failed to break Brighton’s resolve 10 days ago.
Substitutes: Powell (on for Meyler 62′), Akpom (on for Diame 78′) and Elmohamady (on for Snodgrass 90+3′).
Not used: Jakupovic (GK), Maguire, Maloney, Huddlestone.
Substitutes: Wallace (on for McGeady 64′), Lopez (on for Hutchinson 67′) and Nuhiu (on for Hooper 83′).
Not used: Price (GK), Loovens, McGugan, Lucas Joao.
Booked: Bennett (56′), Forestieri (85′)
Sent-off: Forestieri (90+1′)
Referee: Tim Robinson (West Sussex) – 7/10