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Holloway hails Hull point as his best goalless draw


PALACE came away with a hard-fought point on Tuesday after a goalless draw at Hull City.

The Eagles should have won it at the death when Wilfried Zaha was denied in a one-on-one by goalkeeper David Stockdale, but the hosts would have been kicking themselves for not putting the game to bed after completely dominating the first half.

And Eagles boss Ian Holloway admits he was happy to head back to the dressing room at the break without conceding, but felt Hull did their homework on shutting out Zaha and Yannick Bolasie.

"That was as good a 0-0 as I've ever been involved with," he said following the game at the KC Stadium.

"To be fair, Hull had the better of the first half. I felt we didn't get to grips with their shape and what they were doing.

"In the end, I felt quite relieved to be 0-0 at half-time. The second half, the longer it went on, again, the more imposing we got and we found it very difficult to get out of the shackles Steve's [Bruce] team put on my two widemen.

"It took that long in the game and a fair few fouls for Wilfried to get out of the prison he was in and almost win it for us."

Indeed, Palace could have stunned the home crowd at the end through chances from both wingers, while Hull could have won it themselves only for Julian Speroni to pull off a stunning save to deny Aaron Mclean.

"The bit that summed it up was when Aaron Wilbraham flicked it on and Bolasie was just in behind and he's just pulled his shot inches wide," Holloway said.

"Then Hull go up the other end and we get a brilliant save from Julian, so hopefully people who watch this Championship week in, week out, will know that there were two pretty good teams there on show.

"That's why we're both where we are at the moment, there's hardly anything between us and we'll take that point and see what we can do against Brighton now."

Jermaine Easter came in for the suspended Glenn Murray as Palace continued with the same shape playing a lone man in attack.

The hosts had the first chance of the game through Robbie Brady's dangerous cross into the six-yard area, before Bolasie was played in on the right side of the box and forced a good low save from Fulham loanee Stockdale.

Sone Aluko should have put Hull ahead when he got in behind the Palace defence and found himself bearing down on Speroni, but his effort went across goal.

Robert Koren went close from a corner midway through the half when he got in front of his marker to glance a header just wide of the near post, but the former West Bromwich Albion playmaker then missed an absolute sitter after 26 minutes.

A ball in from the right took a deflection off Aluko into his path, but he somehow scooped the ball over from six yards with the goal at his mercy.

Next to go close was Stephen Quinn, who was inches away from giving the home side a deserved lead when he volleyed just past the far post.

Koren went close again when he capitalised on a loose ball and sent a low curling shot towards goal, but the ball took a deflection for a corner.

Palace were very lucky to be going into half-time without conceding to a rampant Hull side.

Quinn had the first chance of the second period when he burst into the box and forced Speroni into a good stop and then Aluko bent a free-kick over the bar.

Wilbraham came on for Easter on the hour mark and looked bright immediately.

Speroni stayed big moments later when he denied Koren at the back post, but then came the big talking point.

Zaha found himself through on goal and was taken out by what looked like the last man for Hull, but the referee only brandished a yellow card.

The decision seemed to kick the Eagles into action and with the clock ticking down, Bolasie could have snatched all three points when he pounced on a weak back-pass but drilled a low shot inches past the post.

Speroni then produced a wonder save to deny Hull substitute Mclean.

The striker turned Damien Delaney in the box and shot low towards the bottom corner, but somehow the Argentine stuck out a hand to palm the ball past the post.

Mclean tested Speroni again with a firm header, but Zaha should have won the contest with the last kick of the game.

The winger received the ball in the box, turned in and out of a couple of defenders and found himself in front of goal with only Stockdale to beat, but he pulled off a great save.

However, the Eagles can take some heart from a positive display in the final 20 minutes and hopefully start a lot better at Selhurst for the big one on Saturday against Brighton & Hove Albion.

Holloway hails Hull point as his best goalless draw

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