Hull striker Oscar Estupinan scored with the last kick of the game to deny Huddersfield three big points in their 1-1 draw at the MKM Stadium.
The visitors remain in the bottom three of the Sky Bet Championship but they impressively believed their lowly position in a rather stale Yorkshire derby, in which Michal Helik opened the scoring after 21 minutes.
A well-worked corner, expertly converted by the Poland international, looked to have put Huddersfield in control.
But Estupinan had the final word deep into injury time – though Hull have still not won at home since early October.
The damage for the hosts looked irretrievable once Helik scored, with Mark Fotheringham’s tactical nous – especially in the first half – far superior to that of Liam Rosenior’s idealistic approach.
Indeed, Huddersfield were by far the better side before the restart, and, at least on that showing alone, should have won the game.
Their intent was evident after four minutes when Matt Pearson forced Matt Ingram into a fine save off Duane Holmes’ smart cross into the box.
Hull’s only appreciable moment before the restart came from Ryan Longman after 14 minutes. Longman evaded two players on the left before squaring onto the edge of the penalty area. Regan Slater’s strike was purposeful, but goalkeeper Nicholas Bilokapic did well.
But the well-organized visitors remained a constant threat and deservedly scored through Helik.
A decent corner from Jack Rudoni was not dealt with by Hull’s fragile defence. Jonathan Hogg amused the ball back towards the face of goal and Helik could not miss.
Hull responded, but they lacked intensity in the first half and, despite their attractive, possession-based football, rookie Bilokapic was rarely tested.
That was the case until 63 minutes when the Australian goalkeeper made an awful mess of a speculative hit from Estupinan.
Luckily for Bilokapic, who allowed the ball to squirm under his body, Estupinan’s strike hit the base of the right-hand post before being hoofed to safety.
Estupinan’s effort failed to galvanize Hull, who lacked potency inside the final third and never once troubled Bilokapic until the end of the game.
Huddersfield might even have scored a second goal when Ingram, easily Hull’s man of the match, thwarted Helik from a tight angle.
Hull went relatively close late in the game when substitute Benjamin Tetteh fired over from a promising position on the edge of the penalty box.
But that wayward strike was a fair yardstick in which to measure Hull’s home malaise and Huddersfield’s laudable efforts to escape the drop.
That was until Estupinan intervened at the death with a scooped finish that gave Bilokapic little chance.
Hull’s Liam Rosenior:
“The way we started the game was the thing. We made disappointing mistakes and gave them the oxygen to allow them to get into the game – and then we conceded with a set-play. I don’t think it was a point gained. I was delighted with the players’ attitude to keep going at the end and then Oscar comes up with a bit of magic.
“I’ve got a really good squad and that’s why I could make five changes. It’s not all doom and gloom – teams aren’t creating against us but teams are scoring goals against us and that needs to change.”
Huddersfield’s Mark Fotheringham:
“The team invested so much energy in the game and the performance levels were through the roof. This Hull City team is a very in-form team but they just looked like a frustrated team. The chances we had in the first half, we could have put the game out of sight.
“We looked a solid, hard-to-beat team and we gave Hull real problems throughout the game. It’s unfortunate, but we keep trucking and moving forward and keep believing as a team. It could be a very valuable point at the end of the season.”