Recently relegated Hull showed why they are among the favourites for promotion with an impressive victory against Town at the KC Stadium.
Mick McCarthy’s side matched the Tigers for much of the first-half but two goals just before the break from former Blue, Alex Bruce, and on-loan Arsenal frontman Chuba Akpom put the hosts in control.
A superb volley from David Meyler just before the hour extended Hull’s lead and they never looked like letting the three points slip from their grasp.
Kevin Bru was one of five changes to the side that drew with Huddersfield at the weekend, the midfielder, back after a hamstring injury, making his first appearance since the opening day.
Cole Skuse and David McGoldrick were both ruled out through injury, while Giles Coke came in for his first start for Town in the Championship.
Jonathan Parr forced the first corner of the game, Coke’s shot blocked from the set-piece and the Tigers broke to set up a chance for Andy Robertson but his left foot shot sailed high over the bar.
Michael Dawson almost found Abel Hernandez with a 50 yard pass that Christophe Berra had to be alert to cut out, then Hernandez failed to get any power with the header from Ahmed Elmohamady’s cross 10 yards out.
Good work by Daryl Murphy set up Luke Chambers whose shot was deflected into the side netting, Larsen Toure then seeing a shot charged down as Blues matched the hosts over the early exchanges.
Bruce replaced Curtis Davies in a forced change for Hull, Dean Gerken quickly off his line to clear from Hernandez as Hull looked for a breakthrough.
Coke was inches wide with a free-kick from 25 yards after Bruce had picked up a yellow card for a foul on Bru.
Sam Clucas pulled his shot wide from close range in the clearest chance of the first 30 minutes after a flowing move, Gerken than gathering well at full stretch from Clucas’ cross.
The opener came seven minutes before the break, Bruce climbing highest at the far post to send his header looping into the net from Clucas’ cross.
Murphy tested Allan McGregor with a left footer from 25 yards, Meyler volleying over from the edge of the box at the other end before Hull got their second, Moses Odubajo broke after Town lost possession and Akpom finished clinically to give the Tigers daylight at the break.
Town made two changes before the second-half got underway, Freddie Sears and Ainsley Maitland-Niles on for Coke and Parr.
Blues switched off from a free-kick that allowed Elmohamady space to cross from the right, Gerken doing enough to clear the danger, then Sears fired wide as Town responded.
Berra did superbly to block from Elmohamady, then Akpom ripped a shot over the bar, Elmohamady off target with another effort as the Tigers threatened to tie the points up before the hour.
Meyler then did just that with a terrific volley from the edge of the box as Hull countered with pace.
Blues made a final change with Brett Pitman on for Toure, Maitland-Niles then failing to hit the target from Sears’ cross as Town looked for a lifeline.
McGregor got down well to save from Pitman’s free-kick, then Jonathan Douglas rifled a shot over the bar from a corner as Town continued to press until the final whistle without any reward.