An early three-goal salvo gave Hull City three vital points in securing a 3-2 win over Everton in the English Premier League on Wednesday.
Stephen Hunt snatched the opener after nine minutes and Andy Dawson netted a free-kick in the 20th minute, before Dean Marney grabbed a third just before the half-hour mark to leave Everton, themselves too close to the drop zone for comfort, shell shocked.
After the break, the Merseysiders fought their way back into the contest and a comical own-goal by Kamil Zayatte four minutes after the restart gave David Moyes’ men a sliver of hope.
Louis Saha converted a spot-kick which Zayatte conceded by fouling the French striker midway through the second period, but the Tigers then battened down the hatches and held on for a win that takes them to 15 points, level with the Toffees.
Everton now have just one win in their last 10 games, while Hull boss Phil Brown’s gamble of resting experienced veteran Jimmy Bullard owing to a minor knee problem paid off.
Everton had won a League Cup encounter between the sides 4-0 at the KC Stadium earlier this season, but were a pale shadow of themselves by comparison.
Also on Wednesday, Fulham saw off Blackburn Rovers 3-0 as the Londoners moved into the top half of the table with goals from Erik Nevland just before the interval and a second-half brace from Clint Dempsey.