Table-topping Arsenal, by comparison, have been breached twice as many times at Emirates Stadium, while seven teams are already in double figures. With a celebrated centre-half such as Steve Bruce as boss, Hull might be expected to keep things tight at the back, but Agnew puts most of the credit on those putting in the hard yards. “Credit to the players because they work at it every week,” said Agnew. “Our shape and our discipline behind the ball is really, really good and it does frustrate the opposition at times. “We’re really, really pleased with them. It’s not just the defenders but the front two and all through the team as well. “They just work at it and they get the reward for putting that work and effort into their defensive record. “It’s pleasing and it’s very rewarding.” Hull’s most recent shutout would not have happened without two fine saves from Scotland goalkeeper Allan McGregor, who intervened twice to deny Peter Crouch in the second half. After Saturday’s goalless draw against Stoke, the Tigers have conceded the fewest goals at home in the entire Barclays Premier League – shipping just three in eight matches in front of the their own fans. It is a statistic that few would have predicted at the start of the season and a point of some pride for a defensive group comprising a handful of cut-price summer signings and several survivors from last season’s Championship promotion campaign. Press Association The former Rangers man has proved a bargain buy at £1.8million from Besiktas and Agnew was duly thankful for his efforts. “McGregor kept us in it with two terrific saves,” he admitted. “We were a little loose in the second half and consequently Stoke gained momentum. Players like Crouch are always going to create chances when crosses come in but Allan made fantastic saves.” The Potters started slowly and needed their own goalkeeper, Asmir Begovic, to be at his best to keep Ahmed Elmohamady and Yannick Sagbo out in the first half. But they dictated terms in the last 25 minutes and looked favourites to come away with a win. Despite that, manager Mark Hughes admits the spectre of a hit-and-run defeat at Craven Cottage last year was hovering in the background. “We had the scars of the performance at Fulham earlier in the season,” he said. “We’d played exceptionally well – even better than at Hull – and ended up losing the game with a counter-attack late in the game. “We were mindful of that at the end and we didn’t want it to happen again, so all in all I was happy with what we did as an away side.” Stephen Ireland did manage to put the ball in the net in the 70th minute, only to see his celebrations cut short by a marginal – but correct – offside flag. He was back in the starting XI following a starring role in last weekend’s 3-2 win over Chelsea and Hughes has been encouraged by his recent efforts. He said: “Stephen was always a threat. He came on early in the Chelsea game, scored a goal and was at the heart of everything we did. “I thought he played really well again.” Assistant manager Steve Agnew believes simple hard work is the reason for Hull’s exceptional defensive record at the KC Stadium.
… Waramadong thrash Bartica for Region 7 titleOVERNIGHT showers and a slightly soggy section of the Ministry of Education ground could not dampen the parade of the Waramadong team as they clubbed Bartica 6-0 in the Region Seven Final of the Digicel Schools Football Tournament yesterday.The eventual champions were in fine form, as they disposed of the Barticans with the first goal coming off the boot of Whitaker Paul in the 9th minute They doubled their money with Colin Edwards just four minutes later as they exhorted their dominance early.Digicel representative Jacquline James hands over to the winning Waramadong team, the kit that they will use in their next match on Sunday.Reon McNaughton joined the party in the 22nd and 37th minutes as he netted his brace to put the game well out of the reach of the opponents before the conclusion of the first half.The score could have been much higher had it not been for the tenacity and determination of the Bartica goalkeeper who managed to stop the majority of the rabid Waramadong attacks.On the resumption, things didn’t get better for Bartica as Devon Nathan completed his brace in the 56th and 78th to ensure the game ended 6-0, much to the cheers of those Waramadong fans present.The Waramadong side move on to play their next match against the Region Three champions Uitvlugt at the Leonora Stadium on Sunday.
Charles Barkley, a lightning rod for hecklers during his playing days, has some advice for athletes facing smack-talking fans: walk away.TMZ Sports caught up with the former NBA star and current TNT analyst and asked him about the incident Sunday involving Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette, who threatened a fan after Sunday’s loss in Nashville. Fournette said the fan used a racial slur. “If you hit a fan and hurt them, you might kill them. I don’t want to sound morbid, but if you just start beating the hell out of a fan, you might kill them. But the main thing, you just gotta walk away or they’re just gonna sue ya.”Several NBA players have dealt with hecklers recently. Kevin Durant was fined for cursing at a fan, Patrick Beverley was fined for tossing a ball at a fan, and Clippers star Montrezl Harrell confronted a heckler Saturday. Even DeMarcus Cousins has been heckled despite the fact he’s still benched with an Achilles injury. Barkley conceded he “gets nervous playing the race card, because that’s a dangerous subject,” but said athletes must simply walk away in those situations.”You’ve got to be careful. You can’t hit a fan because they’re just gonna sue you,” Barkley said. “You have nothing to gain. I mean, you hit a fan, you’re going to lose a lot of money. Related News Barkley noted “Most of the fans are amazing, but there is a certain part of the fan base that is crazy.”Barkley’s advice when facing those crazies?”You gotta let it go,” Barkley said. “You got nothing to gain. Suck it up, brother.” Leonard Fournette confronted fan over alleged racial slur, Doug Marrone says