After Hull's 5-0 defeat at home to Wigan, Everton's first trip to Humberside since 1964 might have looked like an opportunity to restore confidence at the expense of a team still wide-eyed to be playing at the highest level. Instead, it gave David Moyes only more difficult moments in a troubled start to the season.
His team had to recover from a two-goal deficit to salvage a point and much though he felt Everton deserved to be rewarded, there is no doubt they had luck on their side. As far as Hull were concerned, the first of Everton's goals was contentious, at the very least.
It came 17 minutes from the end when Tim Cahill's shot was pushed on to the bar by the Hull goalkeeper Boaz Myhill but was judged to have bounced behind the line when it fell. Spurred on, Everton grabbed an equaliser through Leon Osman five minutes later.
"The referee gave it so it has to be a goal," Hull's disappointed manager, Phil Brown said. "But I have looked at the replay and it is very much inconclusive. The referee has gone with his linesman, although how he has seen it from his position I don't know.
"We don't feel hard done by because, to give credit to Everton, they played some great football in the second half. But if you watch TV tonight you'll see that it was a bad decision, it was not a goal.
"Our lads are unhappy," he added, "but it is a measure of how far we have come that we are disappointed not to have won against a team that finished fifth last year."
Hull took the lead in the 18th minute when Michael Turner climbed above the 6ft 4in Marouane Fellaini to meet Dean Marney's cross with a powerful far-post header into the roof of the Everton net.
It was a goal that flagged up Everton's current defensive fallibilities, although not nearly so much as Hull's second, five minutes into the second half, when Phil Neville jumped to meet another inswinging Marney corner unaware of Tim Howard's intention to punch the ball and diverted it into his own net.
The introduction of Joleon Lescott and Louis Saha gave Everton a different dynamic in the second half. Saha demonstrated his value in laying on the equalising goal, exchanging passes with Aiyegbeni Yakubu before crossing for Osman to convert.
Goals: Turner (18) 1-0; Neville og (50) 2-0; Cahill (73) 2-1; Osman (78) 2-2.
Hull City (4-4-2): Myhill; McShane, Turner, Zayatte, Dawson; Mendy (Garcia, 77), Marney, Ashbee, Halmosi; King (Boateng, 81), Cousin (Folan, 69). Substitutes not used: Duke (gk), Geovanni, Hughes, Ricketts.
Everton (4-4-1-1): Howard; Neville, Yobo, Jagielka, Baines (Lescott, h-t); Osman, Castillo (Saha, h-t), Fellaini, Arteta; Cahill; Yakubu (Vaughan, 87). Substitutes not used: Nash (gk), Valente, Rodwell, Baxter.
Referee: L Mason (Lancashire)
Booked: Everton Fellaini.
Man of the match: Saha.