And, although Hull provided enough evidence at Bolton to suggest they have the determination to survive, they will need to improve on their finishing to stand a chance of staying up.
They failed to capitalise on some early pressure they put Bolton under before the home side dealt them a blow by taking the lead after a swift counter-attack.
Hull repelled the first effort from Matt Taylor but the ball found its way to Steinsson and he drove in a low shot which Tigers keeper Boaz Myhill could only help on its way into the net.
The visitors had the chance to immediately respond only for Manucho to sidefoot horribly high from 10 yards.
The shot did not take a deflection but Hull were awarded a corner from which Barmby headed wide at the far post after Manucho's flick-on.
Geovanni headed straight at Jaaskelainen from 10 yards and those misses almost came back to haunt Hull.
A great point for Hull - Brown
Gary Cahill met a Mark Davies corner with a firm header and only a goal-line clearance from Fagan prevented Hull going further behind.
Fabrice Muamba mistimed a shot just before the break and looped it into the air for Myhill to gather as Bolton wasted another chance, which was to prove crucial.
Myhill immediately released Richard Garcia down the right and he curled a long ball into the Bolton area.
Trotters defender Shittu appeared to have the situation covered but he failed to clear and Fagan pounced to slide in a leveller.
Fagan was in the thick of the action and was forced to clear off the line when a Bolton corner deflected off team-mate Manucho.
But it was Hull exerting all the pressure as they desperately fought to engineer a vital victory.
Their efforts were almost rewarded when the ball broke to Barmby just inside the area and his mistimed volley came back off the post.
Megson praises his depleted squad
Dean Marney sidefooted a shot across goal after Jaaskelainen spilt a Geovanni shot as Hull continued to attack.
Hull boss Phil Brown spent spells as a player, caretaker manager and assistant boss at Bolton totalling 15 years but there was little room for sentiment from the home side as Jaaskelainen denied Cousin and Fagan.
A winner eluded Hull, while the point was enough to confirm Bolton's already all-but secure top-flight status.
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Shittu, Samuel, K Davies, Muamba (Basham 82), McCann, M Davies, Taylor (Riga 82), Elmander (Makukula 89). Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Hunt, Puygrenier, Cohen.
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