Hull leave it late to snatch point as promotion hopes fade
Adama Diomande saved Hull's blushes in stoppage time, but a 2-2 draw at Huddersfield means automatic promotion now looks beyond Steve Bruce's side.
City were on course for an immediate return to English football's top table until recently, sitting atop the Sky Bet Championship in late February.
However, they now languish nine points behind the top two with six matches remaining, having twice come from behind to secure a point that edges David Wagner's Huddersfield away from danger.
The result at the John Smith's Stadium means the Tigers have won just one of their last eight matches and could even drop out of the play-offs altogether unless they buck up their ideas.
Bruce's side, like so often this term, were guilty of squandering key chances and Huddersfield went ahead five minutes before half-time as Jamie Paterson fired home.
Town would have gone further ahead was it not for some fine Allan McGregor saves, which allowed Abel Hernandez to level - a goal that looked set to count for little when Harry Maguire directed into his own goal.
There was yet more drama in stoppage time, though, as substitute Diomande directed home at the far post to secure a hard-earned, if frustrating, point.
Things could have been so different for Hull had Hernandez not wasted a great chance in the fifth minute, sending a close-range header straight at Jed Steer.
Ahmed Elmohamady provided the cross which led to that chance and then the cutback from which Tom Huddlestone's effort was blocked, with Robert Snodgrass furious Dean Whitehead was not punished for handball in the area soon after.
Huddersfield were struggling to get behind the visitors' defence, so were trying their luck from distance, with Joe Lolley dragging wide before a Nahki Wells snapshot forced McGregor into action.
The Bermudian flashed wide as Wagner's side enjoyed a spell in the ascendancy, which Hull almost punctured as Hernandez raced on to a long ball and brushed off Mark Hudson, only for Steer to smother.
Town fans were angered by referee Darren Deadman - and not for the first time - for not calling a foul against Hernandez, whose effort was followed by Mo Diame and Andy Robertson threatening.
Hull's inability to net was punished as half-time approached, with James Husband, playing the final match of his loan from Middlesbrough, darting down the left and squaring for Paterson to strike home.
Only a last-gasp block prevented Lolley doubling the hosts' advantage before the break, although Alex Bruce's wild effort over from close range was a let off for the Terriers.
Snodgrass struck wide moments after the break, but only some wonderful saves from McGregor kept Hull in the match, denying Wells from Rajiv van la Parra's through-ball and then wonderfully stopping Emyr Huws' header.
Wells forced the Scotland goalkeeper into another save before Hull rattled the crossbar, with Huddlestone afforded too much time to get away a 20-yard strike that was deflected on to the frame of the goal.
The frustration in the way end was becoming audible as the match wore down, only for Hernandez to send the impressive away support into raptures by rifling home a leveller.
Substitute Sone Aluko was key to the goal and fired over as he looked for a winner, which looked to have arrived as Harry Bunn's cross from the left was turned into his own goal by Maguire.
Hull rallied rather than wilted, though, as substitute Diomande headed home a deflected header at the far post to secure a draw.