Kingston upon Hull - Goals by Nikica Jelavic and Dame N'Doye shortened the odds on Aston Villa slipping into the second tier for the first time in nearly 30 years as fellow strugglers Hull gained a vital 2-0 win over them on Tuesday.
Victory sees Hull rise to 15th but just a point above third from bottom Aston Villa whose manager Paul Lambert's position is ever more precarious as he experienced his 50th defeat in his 101st league match in charge of the former European Cup winners and who last played in the second division in the 1987/88 season.
N'Doye -- who signed for Hull on transfer deadline day earlier this month -- said that he believed his partnership with Jelavic could be a fruitful one.
"It's good for my confidence and my partner (Nikica Jelavic) was working hard. It was a good performance," said the 29-year-old Senegalese international.
"He's a good player and I enjoyed playing with him."
N'Doye made a lively start testing Villa's defence twice in the opening five minutes.
He played a crucial role in the opening goal in the 22nd minute setting up strike partner Jelavic who steadied himself before finally taking his shot.
While it was on target it was aided by a sizeable deflection off Ciaran Clark which gave Villa 'keeper Brad Guzan no hope of saving it.
Unfortunately for the hosts N'Doye's splendid running and creativity wasn't replicated by his finishing as he should have done better with a free header shortly after Jelavic's goal but sent it wide of the target.
Lambert threw on Belgian striker Christian Benteke after the half-time break and then when that failed to produce anything of note he resorted to former England midfielder Joe Cole as the hour mark approached, and took off Scott Sinclair.
However, while Villa improved a little it was Hull who went closest to scoring again as Irish international Robbie Brady flashed a shot wide of the post with Guzan beaten -- it was to prove a brief reprieve for the visitors.
This time N'Doye made no mistake showing admirable persistence as his first effort was saved by Guzan but he pounced on the rebound to slot home from a tight angle.
Villa plugged away and went desperately close to a consolation goal -- which would have been their first score away from home in over eight hours -- but Allan McGregor did well to stop Ashley Westwood's fierce strike and then the Scotsman got down to block the previously anonymous Benteke's follow-up.