Crystal Palace extended their unbeaten run to nine games after a goalless draw with a Hull City side who themselves hadn’t lost since their opening game of 2012.
Hull boasted the highest number of clean sheets in the Championship this season and Palace would find it difficult to break their defence down, particularly with the absence of Wilfried Zaha, who served the first of his three game ban following his dismissal at Burnley a week ago.
Julian Speroni recently celebrated his 250th appearance for the South London team and having received a touching tribute from the home supporters before kickoff, he had to keep his wits about him as Hull dominated early possession. Corry Evans and Joshua King both dragged shots wide before another effort from King was blocked by former Hull centre back Anthony Gardner.
Following this early pressure, Palace managed to get back in the game and, spurred on by the return of young Welsh midfielder Jonny Williams, could have taken the lead themselves. Good build up play down the left from Jonathan Parr gave Chris Martin an opportunity, but his fierce effort was well held by Arsenal loanee Vito Mannone.
Moments later Nathaniel Clyne produced a cross, again for Martin, only for his close range effort to clear the crossbar. The Eagles were picking up momentum and a string of fine defending from Hull’s defence saw the sides go in level.
After the break both sides continued to threaten and Glenn Murray could have produced his first goal for the club since December but his header was kept out by Mannone. Hull continued to press for a goal themselves and Speroni did well to tip a Cairney free kick over the bar.
Dougie Freedman later introduced two players that had come through Palace’s successful academy in Kyle De Silva and Sean Scannell and the latter provided a threat to the visitors defence with his direct pace and off the ball movement. Despite his late influence, Scannell was unable to make an impact and both teams went home with a point, each taking their seventh draw in their last nine games.
Palace fans seem to have accepted a mid-table finish for this year, which will come as a welcome relief following two years struggling against relegation, whilst Hull still have a genuine chance of the play offs, sitting just one point and one place below sixth place.
Palace XI: Speroni; Clyne, McCarthy, Gardner, Parr; Williams (De Silva), Jedinak, O’Keefe, Moxey (Scannell); Martin, Murray (Easter)
Hull XI: Mannone; Rosenior, Chester, Hobbs, Dawson; McKenna, Stewart (Fryatt), Koren, Evans (Cairney); McLean, King (Brady)