A frustrating day for the Reds at Oakwell saw them go down 1-0 to a late Fraizer Campbell goal as the Tigers took all three points back to Humberside.
Substitute Campbell prodded home a loose ball from Jackson Irvine’s header with twelve minutes remaining against the run of play, keeping Leonid Slutsky’s men above Barnsley in the Sky Bet Championship.
Paul Heckingbottom, serving the last of his two-match touchline ban, made two changes to his line-up, with Jason McCarthy returning in place of Matty Pearson, and Ike Ugbo coming in for Brad Potts in a two-man attack.
With the Reds hovering in 19th place prior to kick-off, they knew a win would leapfrog Hull, hovering above in 16th, whose three league wins this season have all been by at least a three-goal margin.
Whilst not quite the frantic start we saw in last week’s draw with Middlesbrough, the Reds began the game on the front foot, looking to strike early through efforts from Harvey Barnes and Cameron McGeehan.
Adam Hammill then flicked a threatening ball from Barnes towards goal, but was eventually cleared by the visitors’ back line.
There were little in the way of clear cut openings in the first quarter, though McGeehan struck a finely hit shot inches over Allan McGregor’s crossbar as Barnsley countered from their own half.
Hull tried to make use of the wings but were unable to carve out any solid opportunities, and the Reds were denied in what was much of a first-half midfield battle, with the sides going in goalless at the break.
HALF TIME: Barnsley 0-0 Hull City
The second half brought a drop in the temperature in South Yorkshire, but the Reds’ desire to create chances had certainly not dropped. McCarthy burst down the right flank before picking out Ugbo eight yards from goal, whose header looped onto the top of the net.
The intensity in Barnsley’s attacks fired up, with an excellent run and pass from Joe Williams picking out Adam Hammill, who fired inches past the post with a deflected low drive.
The resulting corner found Liam Lindsay, who was denied by a reflex save by McGregor from close range.
Ugbo and Barnes both also cut inside and fired wide as the Reds were well on top by the hour mark.
Ryan Hedges and Mamadou Thiam were introduced from the bench as the Reds pushed to break the deadlock, but both defences remained resolute and the two teams struggled to make their attacking ideas pay off.
Angus Macdonald was also brought on, as Adam Jackson had to be withdrawn with an injury he had been struggling with for much of the half.
Substitute Jackson Irvine dug out a half-chance for the Tigers, whose sniffs at goal had been few and far between. From the subsequent corner, the Australian midfielder rose to head into the body of Adam Davies, before fellow substitute Fraizer Campbell was on hand to stab home the rebound from on the line, a hammer blow for Hecky’s dominant Reds.
The Reds put more pressure on, all of a sudden playing for just the one point, with Hedges and particularly Bradshaw both coming close to pegging the visitors back.
It was never to be Barnsley’s day, as Hull finally claimed an away victory with the Reds left to pick themselves up ahead of a huge Yorkshire derby at Hillsborough against Sheffield Wednesday next Saturday.
FULL TIME: Barnsley 0-1 Hull City
Reds: Davies ©, McCarthy, Jackson (Macdonald 78), Lindsay, Fryers, Williams, McGeehan, Hammill, Barnes (Hedges 63), Ugbo (Thiam 67), Bradshaw
Subs not used: Townsend, Moncur, Yiadom, Potts
Hull City: McGregor, Hector, Grosicki (Irvine 63), Dicko (Campbell 63), Larsson, Bowen, Dawson ©, Henriksen, Clark, Aina, Stewart
Subs not used: Marshall, Mazuch, Toral, Diomande, Tomori
Att: 13,624 (2,237 away)