Robert Snodgrass put Hull into the fourth round of the FA Cup with the only goal in the 1-0 win over Brighton at the KC Stadium.
Snodgrass scored from the penalty spot after 40 minutes with the first goal of a season which started late for the winger because of injury.
Hull manager Steve Bruce and Brighton counterpart Chris Hughton rang the changes with both having one eye on their respective promotion challenges.
Bruce made seven changes from the side that beat QPR last time out in the Sky Bet Championship, including a new front pairing of Adama Diomande and Sone Aluko.
Hughton started his two recent signings - Liam Ridgewell and Richie Towell.
Snodgrass flashed a free-kick just wide of the post after five minutes after also winning the chance when he drew a foul from Adam Chicksen.
Ridgewell also fouled Snodgrass and with the free-kick close to the corner flag the winger floated the ball into the area.
Goalkeeper Niki Maenpaa punched clear with both fists to Isaac Hayden who volleyed narrowly over with 11 minutes gone.
Tom Huddlestone did well to take the ball from Andrew Crofts in the Hull area as Brighton looked to threaten for the first time 18 minutes in.
Andy Robertson then flashed a dangerous cross low across the Brighton area as Hull continued to dominate.
Diomande headed wide from a Hayden cross and Hayden then shot narrowly wide after he had been set up by Ryan Taylor’s clever back heel.
With half-time approaching Hayden then cut the ball back but Diomande and Snodgrass got in each other’s way.
With four minutes of the half remaining Lewis Dunk tripped Harry Maguire in the area following a corner and Snodgrass scored the opener from the penalty spot, Maenpaa diving to his left as the winger fired the ball into the opposite corner.
Diomande should have done better early in the second half, shooting wide after being set up by Robertson.
Maenpaa then saved to his right after a run and shot from Aluko.
Aluko should have done better after 55 minutes but having taken a touch to steady himself in the Brighton area he shot straight at Ridgewell.
Hayden and Crofts both had to be spoken to by referee Geoff Eltringham as the game was in danger of being a little too competitive.
Huddlestone shot wide across goal with 20 minutes to go as Hull looked for a second goal to wrap up the tie.
Two minutes later Taylor got on the end of Aluko’s deflected cross to shoot from close range at the far post but Maenpaa saved with his leg.
With 10 minutes to go Maenpaa stood tall to deny Aluko after the Hull striker had broken clear to shoot only to hit his effort straight at the keeper.
Crofts’ shot came back off the bar in stoppage time but Hull had done enough to make the fourth round courtesy of Snodgrass’ penalty.
Bruce said: “We’ve seen Snoddy produce a performance to show us what we’ve missed. A big pat on the back to him and I have to say to my medical staff. It’s been one of these complicated injuries. He has been terrific.”
“I’ve said repeatedly one of the reasons why we are not in the big league is the loss of our big players.”