It was just like the bad old days for Steve Bruce last night. After the Championship manager of the month champagne on Friday came boos at half-time as Bruce's hitherto burgeoning Hull City side trailed lowly Wednesday – a sobering reminder for the former Black Cats boss of his dog days at Sunderland 14 months ago.
By the final whistle there was more of the same from the frustrated Hull fans. Bruce's Tigers looked to have found their feet in the nick of time, Robert Koren heading home an 83rd minute equaliser. But then, five minutes from time, Hull keeper Eldin Jakupovic fumbled Miguel Llera's right wing corner over the line. Michail Antonio added a third for Wednesday in injury time as City's unbeaten league run came to an end after eight matches.
Bruce's side remain second in the table but are now eight points behind Cardiff. After three successive shut-outs in league action, their trusty 3-5-2 formation creaked from the start last night.
With five minutes on the clock, Antonio cut in from the left and teed up his fellow Owls winger-turned-striker Jermaine Johnson for a shot that drew a top save from Jakupovic. It took Bruce's men 20 minutes to muster a threat of their own, new signing Robbie Brady whipping in a cross from the left to Sone Aluko at the near post – only for the scrum-capped head of Llera to rescue Wednesday.
Five minutes later, Hull were playing catch up. Rhys McCabe pumped a free kick into the penalty area and left-back Reda Johnson beat Japukovic with a glancing header. It was the first Championship goal City had conceded in 5 hours and 50 minutes.
It might have been followed by two more had Jakupovic not thwarted first Antonio and then Jermaine Johnson as Wednesday and their lightning-quick forwards continued to threaten on the break. Still, the Tigers bared their attacking teeth just before the interval, Stephen Quinn flashing a header narrowly wide.
Not that City could maintain the momentum after the break. There were sighs of relief when the Hull defence failed to clear a free-kick and referee Mark Haywood whistled for a foul as Giles Coke bundled the ball home.
There were cheers when Koren headed in a right wing cross from Ahmed Elmohamady but then came the goalkeeping fumble and the injury time strike that earned Wednesday the victory they deserved. To complete a night to forget for Bruce and the Hull fans, Jay Simpson had a penalty saved deep into added time.
Hull (3-5-2): Jakupovic (Oxley, 90); Hobbs (Proschwitz, 80), Faye, Chester; Elmohamady, Evans (Simpson, 67), Meyler, Quinn, Brady; Koren, Aluko
Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): Kirkland; Buxton, Llera, Gardner, R Johnson; Lee, Coke, McCabe (Semedo, h-t), Helan; Antonio, J Johnson (Sidibe, 85).
Referee Mark Haywood (West Yorkshire).