Promotion-chasing Hull left Ashton Gate with three points for the first time since 1965 thanks to an unfortunate Cole Skuse own goal.
Steven Davies continued his fine recent form with a first-half goal to cancel out Sone Aluko’s eighth minute opener, but City were left ruing Lady Luck as Jon Stead and Ryan Taylor were both denied by the woodwork either side of Skuse’s untimely intervention.
Derek McInnes made five changes to his side beaten 4-3 by Burnley in heart-stopping fashion last time out, having appeared to have rescued a point through Paul Anderson’s equaliser on the stroke of injury time.
Left-back Matthew Briggs came in for his City debut after signing on a month’s loan from Fulham, while Lewin Nyatanga and Stephen Pearson returned to the starting line-up.
Up front, there were surprise recalls for Jon Stead and Ryan Taylor, as Sam Baldock dropped to the bench where he was joined, perhaps even more surprisingly, by Albert Adomah
But if McInnes’ decision to shake things up was designed to bring more freshness to his team, it instead produced a slow start soon punished by an excellent opening goal from the visitors’ point of view.
Hull’s front two of Aluko and Jay Simpson combined to devastating effect, exchanging a series of quick passes to slice open the City defence to allow the former Rangers striker to convert with a simple side-footed finish across Tom Heaton.
The confidence was flowing through Steve Bruce’s men, who looked certain to increase the lead on 24 minutes, but Ashton Gate old boy Liam Rosenior stooped at the back post and somehow headed Ahmed Elmohamady’s right-wing cross down into the ground and up over the crossbar from close range.
It was to prove a costly miss, as a flowing City counter-attack brought an equaliser against the run of play a minute later.
There seemed no danger when Stead picked the ball up deep inside his own half, but his excellent driven pass upfield to Taylor was well controlled and sent intelligently wide by the former Rotherham United striker, who found Pearson in space on the left wing.
Seemingly short of support, the Scot delayed his pass before laying the ball back to the onrushing Davies, who took the ball in his stride with a confidently struck first-time shot low into the bottom corner for his sixth goal in as many games.
Undeterred, Hull set about retaking the lead immediately only for Aluko’s radar to let him down when fed by Stephen Quinn, while at the other end on-loan Manchester United keeper Ben Amos was nearly embarrassed when his clearance cannoned into Taylor but deflected away to safety.
Taylor was again involved three minutes into the second half albeit in more deliberate fashion, as his dangerous inswinging cross from the right flank narrowly eluded the combination of Davies and the far post.
But Hull skipper Robert Koren provided an unwelcome reminder of the Tigers’ threat with a thunderous drive out of nothing that saw Heaton beaten but not, thanfully, his crossbar.
It was becoming a typically ‘you attack, we attack’ Ashton Gate affair, and City soon rattled the woodwork themselves when the ball found its way to Stead who, from a tight angle, saw his daisy-cutter turned onto the near post by Amos, with Davies unable to divert the rebound on target.
Instead of turning the game full swing, City were behind again 25 minutes from time when Skuse inadvertently found his own net from Quinn’s cross after a superb Heaton save to keep Aluko’s 20-yard curler at bay proved only a temporary reprieve.
Hull smelled blood and the opportunity to put free-scoring City to bed, with Simpson guilty of dragging a great chance wide of goal when fed by Aluko, who himself threatened a third with a fizzing left-footed shot which just swerved away from the far post.
With time ticking on, luck was not on the Robins’ side when Taylor’s header in a crowded penalty area looped over Amos but hit the face of the crossbar, and the winless run extended to seven matches.