GRIMSBY Town earned a goalless draw against Premier League Hull City in their first home pre-season friendly of the summer.
In a game of few genuine chances, the Mariners matched their opponents from north of the Humber as they produced a solid performance.
After two consecutive defeats in midweek, Town were back on a positive footing as they comfortably kept a clean sheet.
And they had chances to win the game, with Luke Summerfield going the closest with a header that bounced back off the crossbar.
Town, wearing their new grey third kit, started with James McKeown in goal, behind a defence of Ben Davis, Shaun Pearson, Josh Gowling and Danny Andrew.
Sean McAllister and Summerfield were the holding midfielders, with Dominic Vose, James Berrett and Ashley Chambers in more advanced roles and Omar Bogle beginning as the lone striker.
Hull boss Steve Bruce named a strong starting XI packed with regulars from the Tigers team that won promotion to the Premier League via the Championship play-offs last season.
Harry Maguire came on in his place. But the visitors suffered an early blow when defender Moses Odubajo had to limp off with an injury.
The first 10 minutes passed without either goalkeeper being tested, with Hull’s Eldin Jakupovic having only a comfortable catch to claim from Vose’s right-wing cross.
Town won the first corner of the game on the quarter-hour but Vose’s delivery from the right was easily cleared.
An opening for the Mariners almost came three minutes later after McAllister did well to win the ball in midfield but after he played it forward for Vose, the Scunthorpe loanee could not control it and the chance was gone.
A low cross by Andrew on the left was cut out for a corner, before a free kick from Vose on the same side dropped wide of the far post.
The first signs of danger for the home defence came on 25 minutes through striker Mo Diame, who made his way into the penalty area before going down, only for the referee to wave play on.
Diame was involved again soon afterwards to register the first meaningful attempt on target, with McKeown beating his shot clear of danger.
Hull won a corner on the half-hour but it caused no problems for the Town defenders, who had looked comfortable so far against their top-division opponents.
And that was how it continued for the remainder of the half, with the Mariners playing some good football, albeit without creating any real chances to open the scoring.
Nevertheless, Town would have been satisfied with their opening 45 minutes as the referee’s whistle signalled the end of a goalless first half.
No Grimsby substitutions were made before the restart, although Hull made two changes as Dusan Kuciak and Jarrod Bowen replaced Jakupovic and Tom Huddlestone.
A foul on Bogle by Maguire gave the Mariners an early free kick and Andrew’s ball from it was headed behind for a corner, which was headed clear by Robert Snodgrass.
Andrew showed his pace to get down the left on 52 minutes before finding Vose, who was stretching as he shot off-target from 18 yards.
The third away change came soon afterwards, with Josh Clackstone coming on in place of Maguire.
Hull forced a corner on 56 minutes after a low cross from the left was put behind and although Bogle headed the ball clear, it dropped for Bowen, who rifled a shot against the angle of post and crossbar from 25 yards in what was the closest either side had been to a goal so far.
The visitors attacked again soon afterwards, with Sam Clucas firing straight at McKeown after a low cross by Andy Robertson.
At the other end, Berrett found an opening to get to the edge of the Tigers box but the door was quickly closed as his shot was blocked.
Vose also saw an effort from distance blocked as the clock ticked past the hour mark, before McKeown was called into action to deny Snodgrass from inside the penalty area.
A Bogle cross on 68 minutes was headed away after good work by Summerfield, before Vose had a shooting chance from 20 yards but sent his low effort straight through to keeper Kuciak.
By now, Diame, Robertson and Snodgrass had all left the field to be replaced by Josh Tymon, Greg Olley and Greg Luer.
Town were doing most of the attacking as the game reached 70 minutes, with Pearson heading just over the bar from a left-wing Andrew corner as the Mariners continued to show plenty of promise.
The midfielder’s header beat the keeper but the ball bounced off the bar to safety. And their best chance of the night so far came after a quickly-taken free kick for a push on Bogle led to the ball being crossed for Summerfield.
The latest Hull substitution saw Johan Ter Horst come on for Shaun Maloney and soon afterwards, the visitors had a corner on the left, which was cleared by McAllister.
Town boss Paul Hurst then made his first changes of the game, with Tom Bolarinwa and Rhys Browne introduced in place of Chambers and Summerfield.
Craig Disley replaced McAllister for the last seven minutes, before a Hull free kick for a push on Bowen on the edge of the Town box eventually led to Olley curling a shot just wide of McKeown’s far post.
Bolarinwa produced a moment of excitement as he ran at the Hull defence with four minutes to go, before powering a shot just over the bar.
Town looked to be finishing the stronger of the two sides and Bogle was the next to have a shot, although he dragged his low effort wide of the far post from 20 yards.
That proved to be the last opportunity for the Mariners, who now head to Alfreton Town tomorrow (Saturday) for their next friendly.