Hull shrugged off their poor Premier League form to reach the last eight of the EFL Cup with a 2-1 victory at Bristol City.
The Tigers had lost all four league games since winning at Stoke in the previous round of the competition.
But goals either side of half-time from centre-backs Harry Maguire – his first for Hull – and Michael Dawson took the Tigers into the quarter-finals for the second successive year, despite Lee Tomlin’s stoppage-time consolation.
Bristol City had not reached this stage of the competition since the 1988-89 season and there was optimism in the west country that the Robins could cause an upset.
But the Sky Bet Championship club left on-loan sensation Tammy Abraham on the bench as one of nine changes from the side which had beaten Blackburn last weekend.
Abraham had been described earlier in the day as the “future of Chelsea” by Blues boss Antonio Conte, but the England Under-21 striker was given a rest after 11 goals in 17 Robins’ outings this season.
And it was Hull who posed the early questions with Jake Livermore probing from midfield and the lively Abel Hernandez testing the home defenders with his movement.
Hernandez dragged an eighth-minute effort wide before shaking Richard O’Donnell’s crossbar from 25 yards.
Bristol City weathered those moments and slowly settled to allow Callum O’Dowda a sight of goal which Dawson bravely blocked.
Bobby Reid then brought the home fans to their feet with a powerful drive from the edge of the penalty area which just cleared the crossbar.
But the Robins switched off in the final minute of the first half as Maguire stole in at the back post to convert Ryan Mason’s corner, opening his Hull account more than two years after his move from Sheffield United.
It was all too easy, but the Robins failed to learn their lesson as two minutes after the break Mason sent over another corner for the unmarked Dawson to head home.
Adama Diomande almost killed the contest off completely before the belated introduction of Abraham on the hour mark put a spring in Bristol City’s step.
O’Dowda brought a fine save from Eldin Jakupovic and Abraham rolled wide of the post after neat approach play from Lee Tomlin and Reid.
Hernandez had an effort cleared off the line before Jakupovic denied Tomlin from point-blank range in the closing stages.
Tomlin set up a dramatic finale when he fired home and Jakupovic had to produce a tremendous save from Abraham at the death to send Hull into the last eight.