Dorrans sees early penalty saved by McGregor
ALBION and Hull were forced to settle for a point apiece after a goalless draw at the KC Stadium today.
Graham Dorrans enjoyed the clearest opportunity of a closely-fought encounter but he could only watch as Tigers goalkeeper Allan McGregor parried away his early penalty, coming after Victor Anichebe was felled by Jake Livermore.
It was one of three strong spot-kick appeals for the visitors in the opening stages of a dominant first-half display, with Craig Gardner going closest after the break when his goalbound free-kick was also kept out by McGregor.
Abel Hernandez wasted a headed chance for the hosts in the second half of a clash which finished with both sides taking a share of the spoils.
The point was enough to end a four-match losing sequence for the Baggies, who will now look to get back to winning ways at home to local rivals Villa next Saturday.
Albion made four changes for the encounter, Gareth McAuley coming in for his first league start of the season alongside the returning Sebastien Pocognoli, James Morrison and Youssouf Mulumbu.
There were just minutes on the clock when the first moment of controversy arrived, Anichebe hauled to the ground by his shirt with television replays suggesting the incident occurred just inside the penalty area.
Yet Albion were awarded a spot-kick just minutes later as Anichebe was again pulled to the floor by Livermore.
However, Dorrans stepped up and was denied from 12 yards by McGregor, who dived to his left to parry the ball to safety.
The Baggies were denied what potentially could have been a third early penalty just minutes later as Mulumbu’s shot appeared to be blocked by the arm of an amber and black shirt.
Midfield forces and defensive resilience dominated the remainder of the first half as neither side managed to create a clear goalscoring opportunity, although it was Albion who went into the interval the most content having enjoyed the better of possession.
Hull enjoyed their closest opening of the encounter just before the hour mark, Stephen Quinn’s header forcing a diving parried stop from Ben Foster.
Alan Irvine introduced Silvestre Varela and Saido Berahino off the bench, either side of a well-taken free-kick from Gardner which forced a save from McGregor.
The Tigers wasted a good chance of their own in the 75th minute as Hernandez headed wide from substitute Robbie Brady’s set-piece.
Brown Ideye stepped off the bench with ten minutes remaining as Irvine went all out for victory.
Varela came closest when his curling effort was palmed away at the end of an evenly balanced second period, but it was not enough to break the deadlock.
Albion: Foster, Wisdom, McAuley, Lescott, Pocognoli, Dorrans, Morrison, Mulumbu, Gardner (Ideye 80’), Sessegnon (Varela 66’), Anichebe (Berahino 72’).
Subs: Myhill, Gamboa, Dawson, Baird.
Hull: McGregor, Rosenior (Brady 60’), Chester, Meyler, Huddlestone, Hernandez, Livermore, Dawson, Aluko (Jelavic 77’), Elmohamady, Quinn (Robertson 60’).
Subs: Jakupovic, Bruce, Davies, Sagbo.
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)
Albion star man: Gareth McAuley