Hull 2 Wolves 2
Goal-shy Wolves twice came from behind to claim a point in their vital Barclays Premier League relegation clash at Hull today.
Scoring for the first time in five games, Mick McCarthy’s side snatched a draw against their fellow strugglers at the KC Stadium with a bizarre Anthony Gardner own goal and a Matt Jarvis strike.
Hull, who missed a chance to move out of the bottom three, twice led, firstly through an early Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink effort and then a penalty from Wolves target Stephen Hunt.
With Wolves having scored just 17 times in their previous 22 outings and Hull striking just three times in their last seven, goals were expected to be at a premium.
Yet the game was surprisingly open with both sides creating numerous opportunities in their desperate search for points at the bottom of the table.
Hull were forced to make a change in defence with Steven Mouyokolo replacing the injured Kamil Zayatte but manager Phil Brown dropped four others to the bench in an obvious shake-up.
His changes paired Jozy Altidore up front with Vennegoor of Hesselink and 19-year-old Tom Cairney was handed a first league start in midfield.
Yet Wolves, who made just one change, had the first half-chance when Kevin Foley got past Mouyokolo but shot wide from a tight angle.
Despite their well-publicised interest in the winger, Wolves had no intention of going easy on Hunt and Jody Craddock crudely tackled the Republic of Ireland winger early on.
Jarvis stretched the Hull defence with a good run down the right but Ronald Zubar needed too long to control his cross and a good opportunity was wasted.
Hull struck after 11 minutes as Altidore raced onto a long ball and shrugged off the attention of Christophe Berra.
The American, returning from compassionate leave due to having relatives in devastated Haiti, then found Vennegoor of Hesselink on the edge of the area.
The Dutchman needed little invitation to shoot and fired low past Hahnemann with a clinical left-footed drive from inside the ’D’.
Wolves spurned a good chance to equalise quickly when an unmarked Foley headed narrowly wide form a Jarvis corner.
Stephen Ward then stole in to shoot for Wolves after Bernard Mendy missed a crossfield pass but his well-struck effort flew wide.
Another corner presented Berra with a good chance but the Scot, who felt he was impeded by Gardner, missed his header.
Despite those chances, the goal-starved Wolves fans were growing frustrated and, unhappy with just Kevin Doyle up front, chanted four four two in a clear message to manager Mick McCarthy.
Cairney, who showed some nice touches throughout the first half, also demonstrated an ability to tackle when he denied Karl Henry a shooting opportunity.
Wolves were curtailed in another attack when Andy Dawson, having been beaten, was booked for clipping the heels of Doyle.
But Wolves were gifted their first equaliser three minutes after the break as Gardner committed a horrendous gaffe.
Zubar, whose previous touches had often left something to be desired, dispossessed Hunt and lobbed a harmless cross into the box.
Gardner was under no pressure as he attempted to sweep clear but the ball spun wickedly off his left foot and looped over Boaz Myhill.
It was a hugely welcome break for the visitors but they enjoyed their stroke of fortune for just four minutes before Hull hit back.
Zubar this time cost his side as he bundled over Altidore in the box as the American chased an innocuous bouncing ball.
Mike Dean pointed straight to the spot and Hunt, the subject of three failed bids from Wolves this month, stepped up to fire in his sixth of the season.
Jones had a chance to level when he beat Paul McShane in the area but Myhill stood up well to save.
Altidore was then similarly thwarted by Hahnemann at the other end and Hull rued the miss as Wolves did pull level through Jarvis after 67 minutes.
Hull twice missed opportunities to clear a Foley cross and Jarvis squeezed a shot past Myhill with aid of a slight deflection off McShane.
Hull introduced on loan signing Amr Zaki for his debut in an attempt to reclaim the initiative but Vennegoor of Hesselink had their next chance when he headed wide from a Hunt free-kick.
Both sides continued to push forward and Foley flashed wide with a powerful drive from the right.
A tricky run from Mendy had Hahnemann scrambling back to touch the ball behind but Hull wasted the resulting corner.
New signing Geoffrey Mujangi Bia had a late chance to win it for Wolves but Myhill produced a fine save.