Hull 1 Cardiff 1 match report: Steve Bruce bemoans misses after Danny Graham spurns two

Relegation candidates share the points at the KC Stadium

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The Independent Football

Hull manager Steve Bruce admitted failing to take their chances continues to be his side’s Achilles Heel, despite an otherwise encouraging start to life in the Premier League.

Striker Danny Graham missed two outstanding opportunities for the Tigers, either of which would have secured all three points after Curtis Davies put Hull ahead before Peter Whittingham equalised for the Bluebirds.

“It’s not just about Danny, it’s about the team as a whole, but Danny is finding it tough, he’s probably trying too hard,” said Bruce. The return from suspension of new signing Yannick Sagbo will add to the pressure on Graham to keep his place in a Hull system based on playing just one up front.

 Cardiff’s Malky Mackay was understandably more satisfied after a result that leaves his side with five points from their first three games.

“We both had periods of dominance and both had chances other than the goals,” said the Scot.

Graham’s first miss was his worst, failing to keep the ball down when it rebounded to him after Cardiff goalkeeper Joe Lewis saved from Sone Aluko.  The ball came to him quickly, but with Lewis grounded, it was the sort of chance that, as Bruce acknowledged, sides cannot afford to miss at this level.

Hull took a deserved lead when Tom Huddlestone curled a low cross behind the Cardiff defenders for Davies, still up in attack following a corner, to glance a header past Lewis.

Cardiff improved after the break. Jake Livermore made a fine block to keep out Aron Gunnarsson’s shot, but soon afterwards Frasier Campbell picked out Don Cowie on the right, and the former Aberdeen midfielder crossed for Whittingham to volley first-time low past Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

Gunnarsson, picked out by Theophile-Catherine’s cross, then headed wide when he should have put the visitors ahead, but Hull responded strongly. Aluko came close to winning the game, turning Stephen Quinn’s cross past Lewis only to be flagged offside, and with time running out, Graham headed Ahmed El-Mohamady’s cross straight at Lewis.

“It’s disappointing, but four points from four games is a fair start, given two of those games were against Manchester City and Chelsea. We’re making a fist of it,” said Bruce

Mackay thought Kim Bo-Kyung should have been awarded a penalty for the foul by James Chester.

“That’s twice we’ve come back from losing positions, which says something pleasing about our character,” he said.

Referee: R Madley 7

Man of the Match: Sone Aluko (Hull)

Booked: Campbell, Turner.

Attendance: 21,949.