COCA-COLA CHAMPIONSHIP: West Bromwich Albion 1 Hull City 2
Do not be fooled by this result into thinking that there is anything spectacular about Hull City - there is not - but the way they went about becoming only the second team to win at The Hawthorns in the Coca-Cola Championship this season was eye-opening none the same.
That the Tigers' 2-1 victory came courtesy of special finishes from Fraizer Campbell and Caleb Folan should not gloss over what was a largely effective performance not befitting such sublime punctuation.
Their style was not for the purist - but to take anything more away from the unapologetically physical and robust visitors would be akin to football snobbery.
Supporters at the The Hawthorns have been treated to anything but the Hull Approach this season but it was the home fans who left in droves before the final whistle; with their side trailing 2-1 and in need of support, it was a rather unedifying spectacle.
One suspects the Tigers' manager Phil Brown's team talk was based loosely around the possibility that Albion would not like it up 'em. Just as at Barnsley, so it proved.
There are occasions in every season when stellar sides have to show a steelier edge to their craftsmanship; Saturday was one such day for Albion. It was roughly 12 months ago when the proverbial wheels came off their last promotion chase.
Constantly being reminded of that is not pleasing Tony Mowbray one bit. He was irked by the suggestion that the same fall from grace could once again undermine his team's fluent football a year on.
The manager says he takes no notice of statistics, which is probably a good job because five points from a possible 18, or one win in the last six Championship matches - however you want to spin it - tells its own story.
What Mowbray does maintain is that if his side's performance levels remain as high as they have been for most of the season then the results will take care of themselves.
The opposite of that symbiotic relationship was the case on Saturday: Albion were disjointed, jittery and harassed, and subsequently lost.
It took both sides desperately long to get going - 28 minutes in fact, which was when Hull took the lead.
Jay-Jay Okocha, whose 34-year-old legs are more worn than his mind, created space from a throw-in on the left by drifting into the middle of the park from where he picked out Campbell with a neat pass.
That the striker was allowed to turn unchallenged was surprising enough, but for him then not to be hurried as he lined up his shot proved madness. The on-loan Manchester United striker made no mistake in curling the ball into the top right-hand corner of Dean Kiely's net from 25 yards. It was a belter and it kicked Albion into gear, albeit first gear.
A minute later Zoltan Gera had a headed goal disallowed and from then on the Hungarian, whose first half performance was considerably better than his second, proved a menace. It was his fierce shot on 39 minutes that was parried by Boaz Myhill in the Hull goal. Had the rebound fallen to one of the home side's more attack-minded players it would have been finished - but instead Carl Hoefkens fired the volley wide.
He should have done better but it did not really matter because shortly afterwards the irrepressible Roman Bednar's 15th goal of the season had levelled the scores.
Gera fed Phillips in the inside right position and his deftly floated ball from the edge of the box left all but the Czech striker static and he finished with a powerful downward header on 41 minutes.
Campbell could have put Hull ahead eight minutes after the break had it not been for the quick thinking and athleticism of Barnett. A familiar long ball caused uncertainty between Kiely and his defenders, which was not helped by the goalkeeper's rash decision to run out of his box to clear.
He lost possession to Folan, who fed Campbell, whose rasping shot was brilliantly headed off the goal-line by the defender.
After an hour, the Phillips/Bednar axis was replaced with the Ishmael Miller and Luke Moore alliance, which, it would be fair to say, did not provide the answers Mowbray was looking for.
The on-loan Villa striker showed touches of promise but Myhill's goal was never threatened by either of the new strikers.
A draw looked increasingly likely - but then came five minutes of Gera's season that he will want to forget. On 82 minutes, with a promising break on the cards Gera sloppily surrendered possession in midfield. The ball made its way out to Folan, who then effortlessly cut inside the back-tracking Hungarian on the edge of the box and fired a low right-footed past Kiely.
All could have been forgiven two minutes later when Moore broke on the left before crossing to the back post where, with the keeper beaten, Gera had the goal at his mercy. He fired over the top.
Scorers: Campbell (28) 0-1; Bednar (42) 1-1; Folan (83) 1-2.
WEST BROMWICH ALBION (4-4-2): Kiely; Hoefkens, Barnett, Albrechtsen, Robinson; Gera, Greening (Teixeira, 73), Koren, Morrison; Bednar (Miller, 61), Phillips (Moore, 61). Subs: Miller, Teixeira, Moore, Pele, Brunt.
HULL CITY (4-4-2): Myhill; Dawson, Turner, Brown, Ricketts; Garcia (France, 69), Ashbee, Okocha (Marney, 70), Pedersen; Campbell (Walton, 84), Folan. Subs: Walton, France, Bridges, Marney, Tyler.
Referee: Steve Tanner (Somerset).
Bookings: Albion - Morrison (diving), Miller (dissent); Hull - Dawson (foul), Turner (foul), Garcia (dissent), Folan (foul).