Cherries frustrated in Hull stalemate
- Geoff Eltringham
AFC Bournemouth claimed a point from a 0-0 draw away at Hull City, but were left to rue missed chances which could have gained them further satisfaction from their long journey north.
There was no way through before the break, despite the best efforts of Dominic Solanke who three times threatened to score only to be thwarted by Hull 'keeper Matt Ingram.
Despite away pressure, the Tigers hit the crossbar from Greg Doherty's header, Solanke's personal duel with the 'keeper continuing before the end, with Emiliano Marcondes also left frustrated after passing up an opening, the game ending goalless.
Scott Parker made five changes to the side that drew with Blackpool last weekend, two prompted by overnight illnesses to Mark Travers and Philip Billing.
It meant a league debut for 'keeper Orjan Nyland, while there were also first starts of the season for Jefferson Lerma and Ben Pearson as well as a return for Jack Stacey. New signings Gary Cahill and Morgan Rogers were both named on the bench.
Bournemouth, dressed in their new white away strip for the first time, withstood an early and dangerous ball from the Hull City left which caused danger, Lloyd Kelly making an intervention six yards from goal, before the offside flag was raised in any case.
There was a worrying moment for the 400-plus travelling supporters when Emiliano Marcondes went down injured after being caught by a stray arm, the Dane able to continue after treatment.
The visitors had a golden chance to take the lead just ahead of the midway point of the half, a corner kick finding the head Solanke, his effort was downward and into the legs of Ingram, the ball then ricocheting back off the Cherries striker but tantalising over the bar.
Jordan Zemura made hay down the left flank, clipping in a cross that eluded his team-mates, Solanke soon showing his strength to create his own opening.
Battling past his man on the right side of the box, he managed to get his shot in, but Ingram's legs repelled him again, the loose ball stabbed goalwards by Marcondes but blocked as the Tigers desperately cleared their lines.
Solanke had a third attempt at beating Ingram, Stacey getting to the byline and cutting back for the striker - the angle was tight and though the shot was on target the Hull stopper kept the ball out with his spread body.
As Hull came forwards for a rare attack, Nyland diffused the pressure with a solid claim.
Though a moment of greater worry came a minute later when a ball arrowed into the six-yard box and looked likely to be converted home before an essential intervention from Zemura averted an opener.
The half came to an end with Hull enjoying possession and Stacey receiving a yellow card for a foul of Keane Lewis-Potter, but there was to be no first-period breaking of the deadlock at the MKM Stadium.
Following the restart, the intensity of the Cherries was in evidence again, Lerma hit a venomous long-range strike that was blocked before Zemura's constant energy almost unlocked the Tigers' defence after his latest advanced charge.
Marcondes pulled a cut back all the way through the six-yard box but there was no-one able to tap the ball home.
Out of nowhere, Hull came the closest yet when they struck the woodwork - midfielder Doherty placing a powered header against the top of the bar from Lewie Coyle's inviting ball into the box.
There was an equally close call at the other end, Ingram carelessly passing the ball straight to the closing-in Solanke, the striker settling himself and firing in a low strike that the 'keeper's legs were once again in the way of, much to Solanke's continued frustration.
David Brooks tested Ingram's concentration with a bouncing long shot that bobbled on its way through, Rogers soon primed as he was introduced in place of Brooks for his Cherries Championship debut.
Midway through the half and Zemura was again rampaging forwards as he latched onto Kelly's searching ball. His pull back was on point but struck over the bar by Marcondes who was under great pressure from a covering defender.
The match still felt as if it had a decisive twist in it as the clock clicked past 80 minutes Leif Davis on to replace Marcondes for the closing stages, moving into an attacking left-wing position.
However, breaking towards Nyland's goal Randell Williams curved in a shot that worried the defenders before flashing past the far post from 20 yards out.
Two late Tigers set pieces allowed looped balls to be delivered into the area, though there was no way through for either side by the time referee Geoff Eltringham blew his final whistle at the MKM Stadium.