Match ends, Hull City 2, Middlesbrough 1.
Hull City moved out of the Championship drop zone as Mallik Wilks' stoppage-time strike gave them a dramatic victory over relegation rivals Middlesbrough, who were beaten for the first time under new boss Neil Warnock.
After a 2-0 win at fellow-strugglers Stoke in Warnock's first game in charge on Saturday, a rejuvenated Boro took an early lead at the KCOM Stadium through Britt Assombalonga's well-struck penalty.
But the Tigers retaliated soon afterwards when Herbie Kane curled a brilliant, direct free-kick past Dejan Stojanovic, with what was the night's best moment of quality.
The remainder of the game was relatively nervy and cagey, until Wilks flicked home from close range in the dying moments, lifting Hull up to 19th in the table.
The result saw Stoke drop in to the bottom three, while Boro are just one point above the Potters with six rounds of matches remaining.
Victory was Hull's first in the league since New Year's Day and ended a run of 14 games without a win in all competitions.
Grant McCann's men had lost 11 of those previous 14 and appeared to be tumbling towards League One, particularly since the January departures of talismanic duo Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki.
The Tigers still have work to do to avoid the drop but Thursday's result will give a huge lift to McCann's side, who celebrated wildly as Wilks won the game with just moments remaining.
Amid their relief and elation there was some concern for the hosts as their first goalscorer Kane had to be withdrawn on 28 minutes with a suspected muscle problem, having levelled with his expert free-kick.
Boro had edged possession and arguably had the better of the few chances in the game, but their run of two straight away wins was brought to an end.
Their expressions at full-time where in stark contrast to their joy early on, after Jordy de Wijs had fouled Hayden Coulson in the area and Assombalonga had found the top corner from the spot to net his first goal since November.
Warnock's side will bid to boost their survival hopes when they host Queens Park Rangers on Sunday, while Hull face a tricky-looking trip to promotion-chasing West Bromwich Albion.
Hull head coach Grant McCann:
"Look, it wasn't pretty, It wasn't a great spectacle, really. I think both teams were on edge a little bit. The ball was in the air a lot. I think the ball had a bit of a migraine at the end, if I'm honest.
"We knew we were coming into a Neil Warnock team who want to get the ball forward to the front players, Assombalonga, (Patrick) Roberts and (Hayden) Coulson. They're dangerous and they're quick.
"It's an important win for us, it really is, and it's a good response from the boys obviously from the Charlton game to go two games unbeaten, so we're pleased."
Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock:
"I think I'd have been disappointed coming here having got a point, so you can imagine how I feel.
"We've got our own selves to blame, the opportunities we've had and we haven't managed to put a decent cross in - the number of times it's gone behind or hit the first person. It's not rocket science, really. I must have counted 20 times today (that happened).
"Listen, it's something to work on. There's six games to go, everybody will be down in the dumps now but we haven't got time for that."
- 4de Wijs
- 26ElderSubstituted forStewartat 41'minutes
- 8BattySubstituted forToralat 82'minutes
- 41KaneSubstituted forHoneymanat 28'minutes
- 43WilksBooked at 45mins
- 37Da Silva Lopes
- 44ScottSubstituted forLewis-Potterat 45'minutes
- 27MagennisSubstituted forEavesat 82'minutes
- 29SpenceSubstituted forWingat 52'minutes
- 19RobertsSubstituted forTavernierat 63'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 9AssombalongaSubstituted forFletcherat 79'minutes
- Geoff Eltringham
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Hull City 2, Middlesbrough 1.
Marcus Tavernier (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Marcus Tavernier (Middlesbrough).
George Honeyman (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Offside, Hull City. Kevin Stewart tries a through ball, but Tom Eaves is caught offside.
Goal! Hull City 2, Middlesbrough 1. Mallik Wilks (Hull City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Jordy de Wijs with a headed pass following a set piece situation.
Foul by Marvin Johnson (Middlesbrough).
Mallik Wilks (Hull City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt missed. Mallik Wilks (Hull City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by George Honeyman.
Foul by Marcus Tavernier (Middlesbrough).
Leonardo Da Silva Lopes (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Patrick McNair (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Kevin Stewart (Hull City).
Substitution, Hull City. Tom Eaves replaces Josh Magennis.
Substitution, Hull City. Jon Toral replaces Daniel Batty.
George Friend (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Josh Magennis (Hull City).
Attempt blocked. George Saville (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Substitution, Middlesbrough. Ashley Fletcher replaces Britt Assombalonga.