Hull City failed to break down a stubborn and defensive Lincoln City side as the spoils were shared at the KCOM Stadium in freezing conditions. Keane Lewis-Potter almost opening the scoring early on but the only shot on target of the game came from James Jones in the latter stages of the second half for Lincoln.
Story of the match
As the game got underway in sub-zero temperatures, it was Hull City who nearly took the lead after 30 seconds. Lewis-Potter's effort deflected onto the Lincoln crossbar with Alex Palmer helpless. Hull put the early pressure on, but Lincoln managed to stand firm. The hosts had most of the ball but Lincoln had a counter attack with Timothy Eyoma whipping in a cross that evaded all those in the Hull box.
Despite Hull dominating the early stages, Lincoln almost scored against the run of play on 14 minutes. Morgan Rogers' shot just whistled past Matt Ingram's goal as a reminder to Hull to not switch off at the back. Conor McGrandles was the first player in the book with a bad challenge on Josh Magennis, giving Hull a chance from a free kick - but Lewie Coyle's effort flew over the bar.
Good play from Josh Emmanuel and Dan Crowley saw Palmer make another save as Hull tried to apply the pressure with half an hour gone. Not long after, Hull felt they should have had a penalty as they claimed handball after Lewis-Potter shot, but the referee gave a corner kick instead. Just before the half time whistle, a mix up between Reece Burke and Jacob Greaves almost saw Lincoln in for a breakaway chance, but Burke atoned for his error and the half ended before the corner could be taken.
Neither side made substitutions ate half time and it was played with the same intensity as the first. Another Lincoln player - Rogers - went into the book for a late tackle on Coyle. Neither side had an opening in the first 15 minutes of the second period until Docherty smashed a shot goalward that took a deflection for a Hull corner. Magennis had a shot blocked soon after, but the Lincoln defense was still looking comfortable.
As the score remained goalless, Mallik Wilks came on for Coyle, with Emmanuel switched to right back. He almost made an instant impression, going past three players but somehow not winning a corner after the ball came off the Lincoln player. Lincoln started to put the pressure on as the game went into the last 20 minutes, but some desperate defending from the home side kept them at bay. Lewis-Potter had the best chance on 75 minutes, but couldn't keep his effort down as he was falling backwards on the turn.
Ingram had to be alert to save from James Jones soon after, and the ball didn't quite fall for Magennis or Wilks up the other end. It did seem as if it was neither side's night in front of goal, and Lincoln's approach to the game was summed up when captain Jorge Grant cynically hacked down Wilks on the counter attack.
Takeaways from the match
Hull the better side but draw a blank again
Hull almost took the lead in the first 30 seconds, and they were the side trying to make things happen throughout the game. They carved out the best chances of the game but it was a combination of lackluster finishing and deep defending that kept them at bay. Hull's profligacy in front of goal continues, and they have only scored one league goal since beating Portsmouth convincingly on the road.
Lincoln with negative performance that belies their league position
Despite Michael Appleton's side occupying the top spots in Sky Bet League One for the majority of the season, they looked to defend very deep with men behind the ball at all times. They played with an attitude that suggested they were fighting for survival rather than vying for the automatic promotion spots, but they continued their excellent away form that has seen them only lose once on the road this season.
Dan Crowley and Greg Docherty were hardworking in midfield for the home side, and Josh Emmanuel was bright on his return to the side, showing he can play further forward as well as right back. It is in front of goal that will worry Head Coach Grant McCann though, with only one goal in the last four games - that came at home to Swindon, and McCann will want more ruthlessness from his forward line at home to MK Dons at the weekend.