Report | Swansea City 0 Hull City 0
Swansea City could not find the reward for a dominant performance with the ball as they were held to a goalless draw by Hull City at the Swansea.com Stadium.
The Swans had the lion’s share of possession, and 16 shots to just three from the Tigers, but they could not break the deadlock.
Matt Grimes went closest as his free-kick was palmed onto the post, while the Swans were also denied what look a cast-iron penalty when Ethan Laird was brought down in the box.
The hosts undoubtedly showed the impact of a couple of weeks of extended time on the training pitch under new head coach Russell Martin, but will have been disappointed not to take all three points.
The Swans boss had made five changes from defeat at Preston with Ben Hamer, Kyle Naughton, Rhys Williams, Olivier Ntcham and Flynn Downes included in the line-up, with Williams and Ntcham making their debuts.
The hosts started with plenty of energy and brightness, with Ntcham twice making strong forward runs into the area that ended with Hull scrambling his crosses away.
The Swans continued to play with a pleasing fluidity, with Downes and Jamie Paterson also heavily involved in the early exchanges.
Laird then burst round his man into the box, with Jake Bidwell’s shot from the pull-back being blocked, before Ntcham’s follow-up was deflected wide.
Joel Piroe clipped an inviting ball into the box as Paterson ran free into space, but the final ball was just too strong.
Laird headed wide from a deep Bidwell cross, with Piroe seeing a deflected shot held by Matt Ingram in the Hull goal at the second attempt.
The pressure increased, Grimes bending a superb free-kick over the wall with Ingram making a superb save to push the ball onto the post and out, with Piroe sending the follow-up over the bar.
Naughton’s firm drive was parried away by Ingram before Grimes slid Piroe in on goal, only for the Dutchman’s first touch to be too heavy as half-time neared.
Ntcham took aim from distance and saw a Hull tow divert his effort wide of the target but the Swans – having had 70 per cent of possession – were goalless at the interval.
The second half continued in much the same vein as the first; the Swans dominating possession and patiently looking for a way through a stubborn rearguard.
Grimes dragged a shot wide and the Swans were then left frustrated as referee Keith Stroud waved away appeals when Laird was clearly fouled as he raced to reach a dropping ball in the area.
The official was soon turning away another shout for a spot-kick as Paterson turned inside Di’Shon Bernard to rub salt into Swansea wounds.
Hull were getting penned deeper and deeper but, to their credit, they remained disciplined as the game entered its final 20 minutes with the scores all-square.
Martin’s side continued to press, Paterson sending in a lovely ball that really should have had white shirts queuing up to turn into the net, but it instead flew harmlessly across the area.
Ryan Manning and Michael Obafemi were introduced from the bench, with both involved as Piroe worked Ingram with a left-footed strike from the edge of the area.
Swansea City: Ben Hamer; Kyle Naughton (Ben Cabango 86), Ryan Bennett, Rhys Williams; Ethan Laird, Flynn Downes, Matt Grimes (captain), Jake Bidwell (Michael Obafemi 77); Olivier Ntcham (Ryan Manning 71), Jamie Paterson; Joel Piroe.
Unused Substitutes: Steven Benda, Jay Fulton, Liam Cullen, Joel Latibeaudiere.
Hull City: Matt Ingram, Lewie Coyle (captain), Callum Elder, Jacob Greaves, Mallik Wilks Matt Smith 64), Greg Docherty, Keane Lewis-Potter, George Moncur (Ryan Longman 81), Tom Huddlestone, Di'Shon Bernard, Josh Magennis (Tyler Smith 72).
Unused Substitutes: Nathan Baxter, Richie Smallwood, Josh Emmanuel, Sean McLoughlin.
Referee: Keith Stroud