Bristol City secured a draw after playing for 45 minutes with 10 men.
Jamie McAllister was sent off for two bookable offences in first-half injury-time, his second coming for a ludicrous hack at Sam Ricketts.
But Hull failed to take advantage of their numerical superiority and even the arrival of substitute Jay-Jay Okocha failed to inspire the Tigers.
And the Tigers had to survive a late scare when substitute Darren Byfield's injury-time penalty claim was ignored.
Hull City manager Phil Brown:
"To have an extra man was a massive bonus and our effort was there for everybody to see, but we didn't work the opposition goalkeeper enough.
"We're all disappointed but there's no divine right to win a game of football, 10 against 11.
"We couldn't do any more apart from the fact we lacked that bit of quality in the final third."
Bristol City boss Gary Johnson:
"We played well in the first half and quietened down a big crowd.
"We kept the ball well and got our game back, and we needed to do that to regain our confidence.
"We did that in the first half and also in the second half with 10 men. I was very, very proud of them."
Hull: Myhill, Ricketts, Turner, Brown, Delaney, McPhee (Okocha 62), Ashbee, Marney, Hughes (Garcia 46), Windass, Campbell (Folan 70).
Subs Not Used: Duke, Dawson.
Bristol City: Basso, Orr, Fontaine, Carey, McAllister, McIndoe, Elliott, Johnson, Showunmi (Byfield 79), Noble (McCombe 46), Sproule (Murray 67).
Subs Not Used: Weale, Trundle.
Sent Off: McAllister (45).
Ref: Andy Penn (W Midlands).