They needed Carlos Tuimavave’s 73rd minute try to edge home last night against a Wakefield Trinity side who must be wondering what they need to do to get a victory.
This was probably their best display of the campaign - full of purpose, endeavour, character and no little skill - yet they are still staring at five straight defeats.
In contrast, Hull were poor by the high standards set by new coach Brett Hodgson, struggling for fluency and looking unusually fragile at times before finally closing out a fourth win of the year.
When Marc Sneyd’s clearing kick was charged down by Jordan Crowther - illustrating the spirit in Chris Chester’s side - Mason Lino picked up the pieces to scurry 40m to score and level the game 14-14 in the 67th minute.
Lino could not convert from wide out but you sensed his side, who had enjoyed dominance for such large periods, would press on.
Instead, though, it was the hosts who recovered, finally finding a piece of precision for Jake Connor’s short delayed pass to send Tuiamave over for the crucial score
Sneyd converted but missed two drop goal attempts - he missed three in Golden Point extra-time on Sunday when they drew with Warrington - to leave them still nervous at the end.
Joe Westerman, James Batchelor and Tini Arona all put in big displays for Wakefield up front while Ryan Hampshire - shifted to stand-off with captain Jacob Miller injured - enjoyed a productive night with his short kicking game.
However, they will rue missed opportunities; Trinity should have been ahead at half-time given they had the majority of the territory and applied so much pressure yet were 8-6 down.
Hampshire dinked kicks through to twice force goalline drop-outs and Lino also had the same result with one of his last plays down the other side.
None of them came to anything, Hull, to their credit, showing tremendous resilience and defensive fortitude as Chester’s side probed away.
Connor produced a try-saving tackle on James Batchelor after he got through and the Hull full-back also got underneath Kyle Wood to deny the Trinity hooker after Tuimavave had spilled a kick.
Ironically, though, it was on one of the few occasions Trinity had to defend their own goalline that led to them finally breaking their duck.
Andre Savelio, who had scored Hull’s opening try in the 11th minute, barrelled close but, as they shaped left, Connor’s final pass was intercepted by Lee Kershaw, the Trinity winger who raced 95m to score in the 36th minute.
Lino improved and Hull found themselves down to 12 men when Bureta Faraimo - on his 100th career appearance - was sin-binned for a high tackle.
The USA international came in off his flank to flatten Wakefield full-back Max Jowitt with just seconds of the half remaining.
After the hooter had sounded, the visitors did well to keep the ball alive but the otherwise impressive Batchelor wasted an obvious overlap by harmlessly kicking ahead.
Still, they were in the game, had some reward for their efforts and still had that numerical advantage for the start of the second period.
That said, Jowitt could not return after his HIA, meaning Hampshire was forced into switching to full-back.
Savelio had trampled over Hampshire for his score, Sneyd converting.
But Hull did not add to that until Sneyd - with his 1,500th Super League points - slotted a penalty in the 32nd minute after a tip tackle by Westerman and Batchelor on Chris Satae.
Prop Satae had already made a big impression after coming on performing a ball steal on Lino to relieve pressure on his side after one of those drop-outs.
However, in the second period, Hull extended their lead when still a man down, the excellent Adam Swift climbing above Kershaw to claim Sneyd’s lofted chip.
It was painful for Wakefield who, not long before, had charged the winger back behind his own goalline to force their fourth drop-out of the night.
Like all the others, though, it resulted in nothing.
Sneyd converted Swift’s try but the visitors quickly responded, Batchelor latching onto another perfectly-weighted Hampshire grubber in the 51st minute after Chris Green’s late offload caused Hull issues in the middle of the field.
Lino could not improve so Hull led 14-10 but they soon realised they would not be allowed to walk away with this game.
Trinity poured forward, David Fifita swatting off defenders at one point before Tuiamavave was left desperately clinging on to deny Kelepi Tanginoa scoring.
They did eventually level but Hull mustered up that piece of quality to get home.
Hull FC: Connor; Faraimo, Tuimavave, Griffin, Swift; McNamara, Sneyd; Sao, Houghton, Taylor, Savelio, Lane, Cator. Substitutes: Satate, Johnstone, Fash, Bowden.
Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt; Kershaw, Lyne, Arundel, Kay; Hampshire, Lino; Fifita, K Wood, Tanginoa, Pitts, Batchelor, Westerman. Substitutes: Arona, Battye, Green, Crowther.
Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield)