STRIKER Jordan Rhodes struck his first goal since Boxing Day to settle an entertaining Yorkshire derby in Sheffield Wednesday’s favour.
The ex-Huddersfield Town forward had not netted in the last 11 games but found a perfect header to meet Jack Hunt’s cross in the 18th minute and set up victory.
Rhodes, found himself in space after Tigers centre-half Angus MacDonald had, moments earlier, left his defensive position to remonstrate with referee Scott Duncan.
He was clearly aggrieved by something - the former Barnsley captain continued protesting after the goal was given - but he did not readjust in time to deal with the threat of £10m man Rhodes.
Hull, who dominated the second period without creating much until a late flurry of chances, thought they had saved a point in the 92nd minute when Abel Hernandez turned in Harry Wilson’s low cross from the left.
However, as all the home side celebrated, the linesman called over referee Scott Duncan to rightly alert him to the fact Hull substitute Jarrod Bowen actually slid in with the last touch - and he was offside.
Even then, almost with the last action of the game, they could have rescued it when MacDonald had a free header that sailed just wide.
It was tough on Nigel Adkins’ team who probably deserved a point but they were left to rue a raft of missed opportunities in the first period.
A win would have seen them replace Wednesday in 16th spot but now, as it stands, they are still not yet mathematically certain of avoiding relegation.
Instead, the visitors - who had lost their last two games after a three-game winning run - enjoyed their first clean sheet in a dozen matches and how they earned it.
It was remarkable how many chances were created in the first half, both sides getting plenty of opportunities, with the game played in a free-flowing manner right from the opening exchanges.
Hull arguably had the better ones but, crucially, they could not make any of them count.
Jon Toral, in particular, was at the heart of most of their best creative moments, normally in terms of build-up play but he was also left unmarked for a diving header that went narrowly wide.
Wednesday, at times, did seem disorganised at the back with Hull’s forwards often unexpectedly finding space.
Harry Wilson saw one left-foot shot curl just wide while Max Clark - with drives from outside the box - and Abel Hernandez had two chances each.
Similarly, though, Owls were not short of attacking magic.
Rhodes had a free header in the opening moments and Adam Reach had one snap shot just miss the target while they continually probed away.
Granted, Hull had most of the pressure in that second period but were unable to really create anything of note until the frantic final minutes.
Hernandez had one great chance in the 73rd minute but he seemed to get the ball stuck under his feet and Frederico Venancio did brilliantly to nip in and retrieve the situation for the Owls.
Hernandez also had a long-range effort go narrowly wide but Adkins’ side struggled to find any of their earlier fluency and got increasingly frustrated.
Wednesday, who saw Hunt limp off just after the hour mark, were stretched at times but still always seemed to be in control.
Substitute Marco Matias almost scored at the death, Hull defender Michael Hector producing a remarkable clearance after causing the calamity while dawdling before clearing.
Then came that controversial disallowed goal and the Owls held on.
Hull City (4-2-3-1): McGregor; Aina, Hector, MacDonald, Clark; Larson, Henriksen; Wilson, Toral, Grosicki (Bowen 65); Hernandez. Unused: Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Bowen, Dawson, Tomori
Sheffield Wednesday (4-3-2-1): Hunt (Palmer 62), Venancio, Lees, Thorniley; Pelupessy, Bannan, Boyd; Forestieri (Matias 81), Reach; Rhodes (Nielsen 86). Substitutes unused: Jones, Butterfield, Kirby.
Referee: Scott Duncan