Swansea City must be sick of the sight of Hull City.
Two clinical goals from substitute Oumar Niasse meant the struggling East Yorkshire club have now enjoyed three victories over their Welsh counterparts in league and cup this season.
Hull have scored twice in all three wins and, in each of the matches, the goals have come in the final 30 minutes.
While this latest victory was not enough to lift Hull from the bottom three, it was one that will surely breathe confidence into their survival campaign. For Swansea and Paul Clement, their manager, it might serve as a reminder that they are not yet out of the woods, despite recent impressive improvement.
If Wayne Routledge had kept his head better in front of goal at the KCOM Stadium, it could have been a very different story. The winger twice missed good chances to score before Hull struck
The first came after nine minutes when, Gylfi Sigurdsson, who started the day with eight goals and 10 assists to his name, demonstrated his creative streak in the form of an incisive pass that sent Routledge through on goal. Hull were indebted to Eldin Jakupovic, their goalkeeper, who dashed of his line and spread his frame to block the shot.
Swansea arrived in East Yorkshire having won five of eight league matches since Clement’s appointment and their confidence was evident early on.
The visitors were much the better team for the first 25 minutes or so but were unable to fashion another opportunity of quality, despite lapses in concentration from the hosts inviting pressure.
The loss of two players to injury in the first half seemed to affect Swansea’s rhythm as Angel Rangel, the full-back, and Fernando Llorente, the striker, both had to be replaced.
Encouraged, Hull improved somewhat as half-time approached, with midfielders Tom Huddlestone and Alfred N’Diaye growing in influence. Kamil Grosicki, out on the Tigers left, also developed an appetite for destruction and he was close to setting up Abel Hernandez five minutes before the break.
The Pole’s inventive cross looping into the six-yard box but, with Hernandez arriving to head it in, Swansea goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski bravely punched the ball to safety.
Like Swansea, Hull have enjoyed an upturn in performances since naming a new manager in January and Marco Silva, the Portuguese, has his team aiming to play high-tempo, attractive football.
The hosts pressed high up the pitch and it almost paid off when Swansea failed to clear their lines and Huddlestone was allowed to seize a loose ball and shoot from the edge of the area. Fabianski was down smartly to hold it.
At the other end, Jakupovic looked less assured and he was lucky to get away with an error of judgment. The Swiss international pushed Tom Carroll’s low cross into the path of Routledge but the winger lacked composure to keep his shot down. It was a glorious chance.
Swansea were incensed when N’Diaye, already on a booking, escaped further punishment after a cynical foul on Sigurdsson and, from the free-kick, Jakupovic was forced to punch away the Swansea midfielder’s shot.
Presumably not wishing to push his luck, Silva almost immediately replaced N’Diaye with Niasse and a little over six minutes later, the substitute broke the deadlock.
Omar Elabdelloui did well to smuggle the ball to Niasse along the right touchline. Niasse swapped passes with Hernandez and finished with the level of calmness hitherto lacking from any other player on the pitch.
Hull’s advantage was quickly doubled and the damage was again done down the right. Ahmed Elmohamady, another substitute, clipped in a cross to Niasse, who finished clinically.
In the end, it was left to a defender to get Swansea on the board, as centre-back Alfie Mawson took advantage of poor marking to head home from Sigurdsson’s free-kick in stoppage time but it was too little, too late for the visitors.
Speaking after the game, Swansea manager expressed his disappointment that Hull FC had staged a rugby league game at the KCOM Stadium less than 24 hours before kick-off - but refused to blame the damaged pitch for his side's defeat.
“It’s not a very good pitch, that’s for sure,” said Clement. “It’s not an ideal situation when you have that kind of game the night before and, in my opinion, that’s not right, whether it’s here, our stadium or another stadium.
“I’m sure Marco Silva is not happy about that either because he is a coach who likes to play good football and he’s not got the surface to do that.
“But that’s not the reason we lost today. The thing I’m most disappointed with is our defending for the two goals. We came here to win but I also said a draw wouldn’t have been a bad result. Now, the fact we lost is very good for them.”
Hull City (4-2-3-1): Jakupovic; Elabdellaoui, Maguire, Ranocchia, Robertson; Huddlestone, N’Diaye (Niasse, 63); Markovic (Elmohamady, 75) , Clucas, Grosicki; Hernandez (Meyler, 82).
Substitutes: Marshall, Davies, Maloney, Diomande.
Swansea City (4-3-3): Fabianski; Rangel (Amat, 33), Fernandez, Mawson, Olsson; Cork, Fer, Carroll; Routledge (Narsingh, 71), Llorente (Ayew, 45), Sigurdsson.
Substitutes: Nordfeldt, Britton, Borja, Kingsley.
Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands).Reuse content