One point in the two games against the teams from Birmingham this week has left Hull staring at relegation in their second top-flight season. They could be down by the weekend.
No mistake: James Milner secures all three points from the spot
Hull fans chanted: 'You don't know what you're doing' when Dowie replaced spirited youngster Tom Cairney with Geovanni as Hull tried to cancel out Gabriel Agbonlahor's 13th-minute opener.
Dowie made no apologies. 'It is par for the course,' he said. 'I make decisions and stand by them. Tom is going to be a top player but he faded and I made that change. They are entitled to their opinion.
'We are running out of games and Sunderland on Saturday is a must-win. It sounds bizarre but that was as well as we have played at home.'
Crucial moments: Players and referee Mike Dean urge medical attention for the prostrate Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink
To make matters worse, Pearson, who used last night's match programme to launch a fierce attack on predecessor Paul Duffen, was heckled by a section of Hull fans for having replaced Phil Brown with Dowie for the last nine games of the season.
The incident was more worrying evidence that the natives are restless, just when Pearson, Dowie and the players need them most.
After James Milner's 76thminute penalty killed off any hopes of a revival, hundreds poured out and the stadium was almost half-empty by the end of 10 minutes of added time, clocked by referee Mike Dean after Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink was carried off unconscious following a clash of heads with Richard Dunne.
The former Holland striker went to hospital for a scan and was expected to be detained.
Dowie said: 'It's a worry and he was in a bad way.'
Concern: Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink (centre) is placed on a stretcher after being knocked unconscious after a clash of heads with Richard Dunne
Hull had only themselves to blame for the messy build-up to the opening goal after full back Paul McShane failed to clear a routine high ball. His daft clearance struck John Carew and bounced to Agbonlahor, who drilled it into the top corner. 'It was a joke goal,' Dowie admitted.
After McShane had comically tried to give away a second goal to Carew, George Boateng conceded a penalty when he hauled down Milner, who sent Matt Duke the wrong way.
The second win in a week on their travels means Villa are still clinging on to the dream of fourth place and they have moved back above Liverpool into sixth.
Manager Martin O'Neill said: 'We are going for everything and guaranteed nothing, not even seventh. To take 10 points from 12 after the 7-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge shows great character.'
Early blow: Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor is congratulated
MATCH FACTSHULL CITY (4-5-1): Duke 5; McShane 5, Mouyokolo 5, Sonko 5, Dawson 6; Fagan 6, Bullard 6, Boateng 6, Cairney 7 (Geovanni 70min), Kilbane 7 (Olofinjana 84); V of Hesselink 5 (Altidore 54, 6).
Booked: Cairney, Fagan.
ASTON VILLA (4-4-2): Friedel 6; Cuellar 6, Dunne 7, Collins 7, Warnock 6; Downing 6, Petrov 8 (Sidwell 84), Milner 7, A.Young 7; Carew 6 (Heskey 90), Agbonlahor 7.
Booked: Petrov, Milner.
Man of the match: Stilian Petrov.
Referee: Mike Dean.
But the consequences of the drop could be catastrophic for the Tigers, with many predicting they will go into administration. Chairman Pearson wrote: 'The club was literally two hours from extinction in 2001 and was rescued by club staff who battled to save it through proper care and attention.
'These grounding core beliefs were lost somewhere between summer 2008 and autumn 2009. The safety valve of pragmatic realism was cut off and the club under Mr Duffen spent money it didn't have.
'The size of agent payments is morally abhorrent - a wage bill of just under £40million when the club turnover is £50m in the Premier League! The maths don't add up.'
Fight for Premier League survival: What you need to know about dropStruggling Hull City manager Iain Dowie knows his job is not safe I've earned the right to be here next year, says bullish Villa boss O'NeillASTON VILLA FC