Stoke City's Asmir Begovic proves a tiger to frustrate Hull City

The one thing that refused to change here was the scoreline. This match was the first since Hull's chairman, Assem Allam, lodged an official request to the Football Association to ditch the City part of the club's name and replace it with Tigers. It triggered another emotional response from the fanbase: a banner in the East Stand simply read "Our History, Our Future, Our Club, Hull City AFC", while several hundred members of the protest group City Till We Die had been scheming their response to the latest turn of events in a local drinking establishment during the afternoon.

Given their encouraging return to the Premier League, the Hull manager, Steve Bruce, must be sick of talking about the club's name-change plan rather than their football. However, official word on the ailment that prevented him carrying out media interviews pre-kick off was that he had suffered an overnight stomach bug.

Hull began the match with the attractive style of play that has earned so many plaudits since finishing as the Championship runners-up in May and, but for Stoke's goalkeeper, Asmir Begovic, they might have had a fifth home victory wrapped up before the interval.

Spectacular stops redirected efforts from Ahmed Elmohamady and Yannick Sagbo inside the first 20 minutes.

Unsurprisingly, Stoke opted to use Stephen Ireland and Oussama Assaidi from the start this week, following their goal-scoring appearances from the bench in victory over Chelsea. However, Assaidi wasted an opportunity after cutting in from the left flank midway through the opening period. Instead of arrowing towards the top corner, this effort lamely peeled towards a corner flag.

Their own willingness to get the ball down and play promoted a watchable contest yet their threat increased considerably as the wind picked up. The inconsistent trajectory of Stoke's deliveries into the home area caused havoc, most notably when a rebound from Peter Crouch's 70th-minute downward header, repelled by Allan McGregor, was tucked in by Ireland – only to be ruled out for offside. Moments later a headed effort from Ryan Shawcross crashed against the crossbar.

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