Chris Hughton's side, who started the game two points above the relegation zone, moved up to 12th, level on points with 10th placed Hull after this tense sixth win of the season.

Hull's �7 million new arrival from Everton, Nikica Jelavic, almost got his new career off to the perfect start in the second minute, hitting a left-footed shot from inside the box against the woodwork.

Norwich, who gave a start to their new loan signing Jonas Gutierrez, had a half decent shout in the 12th minute only for Ricky van Wolfswinkel's volley to fly wide.

Shortly after Hull manager Steve Bruce was forced into an unscheduled change with injured James Chester replaced by Maynor Figueroa.

It was more of the same after the restart, with lots of effort with no result, until Bennett popped up to break the gridlock with three minutes left on the clock.

The decisive goal came off a corner delivered by Robert Snodgrass, with centre back Bennett heading past Hull keeper Allan McGregor to open his account for the club he joined in 2012.

Hull ended the game with 10 men after Tom Huddlestone picked up a red card for a second booking.

Norwich hung on for the win, their first at home since November, although Hull went close to snatching an injury-time equaliser with a Curtis Davies header which went wide.