Aston Villa 1-1 Hull City: Exciting Opening Day Draw Sees Both Sides Claim a Point
Aston Villa kicked off their promotion challenge with an end-to-end 1-1 draw against a new look Hull City side at Villa Park on Saturday evening, a second-half equaliser from Jarrod Bowen cancelling out Gabby Agbonlahor's early opener for the Villains.
Hull will be the happier of the two sides as Villa squandered a number of first-half chances, while Andre Green missed an open goal in the second period, as he failed to direct his free header on target.
Following a lacklustre first period, the Tigers sprung into life during the second-half and had opportunities to win the game themselves - but first things first, it didn't take long for Villa to get their noses in front, following a missed golden opportunity a minute before.
Gabby Agbonlahor made no mistake in the 7th minute though, smashing Alan Hutton's low cross into the back of the net, passed the stumbling McGregor to give Villa the lead.
Hull City’s attacking line up struggled to deal with Villa in the early stages of the game; Hull's front four in particular failed to track the runs of Hutton and Taylor down the wings.
Hull came alive in the final minutes of the first-half as Abel Hernandez fired just wide from the edge of the box, before Aston Villa keeper Sam Johnstone was forced to make a double save off efforts from Frazier Campbell and then Polish Winger Grosicki.
With just over a third of the game remaining, the Tigers' second-half pressure paid off as Hull academy graduate Jarrod Bowen lashed Grosicki's cross under Sam Johnstone to equalise for the away side.
With 10 minutes left to play, Aston Villa substitute Andre Green found himself free at the far post but managed to miss an open goal from three yards out as his header bounced wide.
Both sides will take encouragement from their performances but for Villa especially it is a case of what could of been as the opening Saturday of the Championship 17/18 season comes to an end.
Aston Villa: Johnstone, Hutton, Terry, Chester, Taylor, Whelan, Lansbury, Elmohamady, Bacuna, Agbonlahor, Hogan
Subs: Steer, Samba, Hourihane, Bree, Onomah, Green, Bjarnason
Hull City: McGregor, Aina, Clark, Dawson, Hector, Henriksen, Clucas, Bowen, Grosicki, Campbell, Hernandez
Subs: Mannion, Lenihan, Mazuch, Meyler, Weir, Batty, Diomande