PHOTOS: Burnley 0, Hull City 1
Within a minute of their introduction, just after the hour, Robert Koren and Jay Simpson combined to tee up Stephen Quinn who drilled a left-footed effort inside the near post from the edge of the box to send City second in the Championship.
Burnley boss Sean Dyche made five changes from the Barnsley stalemate with Ben Mee, Michael Duff, David Edgar, Ross Wallace and Keith Treacy finding a way in to the starting XI at the expense of Danny Lafferty, Kevin Long, Marvin Bartley, Junior Stanislas and Martin Paterson.
The opening period was woefully bland, both sides equally as culpable, as chances were few and far between. Bruce issued a statement before the game that the importance of tonight's fixture was to avoid defeat - and that was how the visitors set up.
A supposed 3-5-1-1 became a 5-4-1 for the majority as the Championship automatic promotion hopefuls showed minimal intent to press or craft the industry to find the goal that would take them closer to leaders Cardiff City at the summit.
Stephen Quinn headed wide of the near post in the opening minute from full-back Ahmed Elmohamady's centre and that would be their only sight of goal until first half injury time.
After Treacy cut in from the right and blazed over, Alex Kacaniklic sliced wide of the post from the edge of the box after skipper Jason Shackell was thwarted in his attempt to hook Wallace's corner home from six yards out.
The chance of the half fell to the returning Wallace who forced David Stockdale in to a smart save high to his right with a stinging 25-yard drive. Midfielder Chris McCann then headed over from the resulting corner.
With the away side happy to sit, the Clarets knocked the ball patiently from back to front, but that pedestrian tempo rarely threatened as the Tigers had ample time to get men behind the ball and soak up any pressure.
Defender Paul McShane intercepted a poor Treacy pass and slipped in George Boyd who lashed in to the side-netting via the boot of Duff before Alex Bruce was off target with a volley from the edge of the box.
The visitors had a more positive outlook after the break and almost took the lead when Boyd touched the ball to Gedo who forced Grant to save at his near post.
But after neutralising Austin, who once again look isolated and frustrated as the solitary striker, Bruce sensed a breakthrough was on the cards and made the appropriate change with Slovenian international Koren and former Gunner Simpson replacing Bruce and Gedo respectively.
And the pair impacted immediately as Koren found Simpson on the edge of the box and with his first touch he squared for former Blade Quinn to rifle past Grant in the 65th minute.
The hosts responded, seeing plenty of the ball, but a route one approach, bombarding the City box with deep crosses, didn't pay off. Substitute Vokes watched a header loop just wide of the far post before his fizzing cross found Austin at the back post but the 26-goal striker headed in to the ground and wide.
The full-time whistle was met with boos from the home crowd, a performance that failed to provide the necessary impetus ahead of Sunday's Lancashire derby with Blackburn Rovers.
PHOTOS: Ben Parsons