Superb solo strike from Emmanuel-Thomas in vain as Hull come from behind to beat Blues with an injury time winner
A last minute winner from Nick Proschwitz saw Town beaten 2-1 by Hull City at the KC Stadium.
A superb solo strike from Jay Emmanuel-Thomas had seen Blues take the lead in the first half, before Proschwitz came off the bench to net a brace and ensure Town endured defeat.
Paul Jewell handed debuts to recent recruits Stephen Henderson and Nigel Reo-Coker, replacing Scott Loach and Andy Drury who both dropped to the bench.
Town were second best at the start of the game and a mistake from Aaron Cresswell, who sliced the ball into his own box, presented Seyi Olofinjana with a chance but the midfielder fired over.
Two minutes later, a defence splitting ball from Ahmed Elmohamady released Sone Aluko through one-on-one, but he was thwarted by a smart, smothering save from Henderson.
After 17 minutes the hosts missed yet another good chance, with Aluko firing over from close range and initially pouncing on a slip from Danny Higginbotham.
Steve Bruce’s side were enjoying a lion’s share of possession, with Town struggling to get a foothold of the game and a long range effort from Paul McKenna was deflected just over Henderson’s goal after 24 minutes.
But despite being under pressure for the majority of the game, it was Town who broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark.
A superb solo run on the left-hand side from Emmanuel-Thomas saw him jink his way past two defenders, before curling an effort beyond Amos and into the far bottom corner.
A minute later and the Tigers should have drawn level, but Jay Simpson could only fire wide of Henderson’s post from six yards.
After scoring the opening goal, Town were now beginning to dictate play, with Wellens in particular impressing, and Blues almost doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time.
A cross from Carlos Edwards was met by Daryl Murphy at the back-post, but the Celtic loanee could only head over the bar, with the referee blowing for half-time seconds later.
A minute after the restart, Henderson had to be alert to expertly tip over an Abdoulaye Faye header which was creeping towards the top corner.
Shortly after, Andy Dawson was unfortunate to see a well struck drive fly over the angle of post and bar.
But Town went close to extending the lead on 52 minutes. A good run from Wellens saw him then lay the ball off to Murphy to cross from the left and Lee Martin was denied a great volley by a neat push over the top from Hull stopper Ben Amos.
Wellens created another chance for Town just before the hour mark, robbing Paul McKenna in midfield before laying the ball off to Reo-Coker, who hit an effort that stung the palms of Ben Amos.
Town were now in control of the goal and should have scored a second goal after 65 minutes. A neat turn from Emmanuel-Thomas saw him spin away from his marker before sliding the ball through to DJ Campbell, but the Town striker could only nudge the ball wide of the post with Amos well beaten.
But Town were almost caught on the counter after 69 minutes, with Simpson playing in strike partner Aaron Mclean into the area but he was denied by a good block from Henderson.
Seconds later, Mclean then shot across the face of goal with Stephen Quinn unable to add a finishing touch.
But Town were pegged back to level terms on 73 minutes. Elmohamady skipped away from Murphy before crossing to the near post, where Proschwitz was on hand to steer into the corner.
Bilel Mohsni, who had only just entered the fray as a substitute, nearly fired Town back in front with a thunderous 35-yard volley with 15 minutes remaining, but the ball nestled on the roof of the net with Amos well beaten.
But the hosts were also going all out to grab a winner and Quinn almost did just that with a long range effort that came back off the post with four minutes remaining.
Then in injury time, Hull grabbed a winner. A long ball forward found Proschwitz, who coolly slotted the ball beyond Henderson to see Town leave the KC Stadium with nothing to show.
Hull: Amos, Rosenior (Mclean 62), Faye (Chester 70), McShane Dawson, Elmohamady, McKenna, Olofinjana (Proschwitz 70), Quinn, Aluko, Simpson. Subs not used: Oxley, Cooper, Townsend, Evans.
Town: Henderson, Edwards, Chambers, Higginbotham, Cresswell, Emmanuel-Thomas, Reo-Coker, Wellens, Martin (Mohsni 70), Murphy (Drury 80), Campbell (Chopra 75). Subs not used: Loach, Smith, Hyam, Scotland.
Booked: Murphy, Wellens, Henderson
Att: 15, 983