How significant it feels when we acquire a point against one of the giants of English football, a team we haven't played for 55 years as our histories are so vastly contrasting, and yet we walk away bemoaning a victory let slip.
The basics are simple; City were infinitely better than Everton for the whole of the first half, but once we went 2-0 up early in the second, a mixture of nerves from the Tigers and an admirable refusal to panic from the visitors allowed David Moyes' men back in. So a draw was fair, even though Everton will feel the more grateful for it.
After the eyeful City gave Newcastle United last week, Phil Brown still felt obliged to ring some changes, and not just because of Craig Fagan's injury. New striker Daniel Cousin lined up alongside the hero of St James, Marlon King, while Kamil Zayatte started in defence for the first time in place of the injured (again) Anthony Gardner. Still no sign of Geovanni, Sam Ricketts or George Boateng in the first XI, while saintly locals Dean Windass and Nick Barmby didn't even trouble the bench.
Instantly, City were in the groove. Peter Halmosi slid and slithered his way past three blue-shirted aggressors in one lovely move, before delivering a smart cross which Bernard Mendy headed straight at Tim Howard.
City maintained some slick possession through this opening spell although Everton looked dangerous when they did grab the ball, and Marouane Fellani and Mikel Arteta both went close, with Boaz Myhill saving one and letting the other sail over the bar.
On marched the Toffeemen, seemingly buoyed by this early streak of possession, and Leon Osman - a fine footballer who seems considerably undervalued by everyone outside Goodison Park - swiped a skidding shot across Myhill and just wide after a low ball in from Phil Neville confused the City rearguard.
City then established full control of the game. King put Cousin in but Joseph Yobo got a strong block in, then King's fine ball from the wing gave the excellent Dean Marney time and room, and his crisp inside ball to Mendy was belted over by the Frenchman.
A corner was soon forced, and a key goalscoring tally got underway as Marney arched in a wicked delivery and Michael Turner rose high at the far post to head home, seemingly through Howard's hands. Turner's facility to get on the end of set-pieces became crucial in the promotion campaign and is now more key than ever as City look to establish themselves away from the lower reaches of the division.
So, 1-0, and deserved too. Moyes, oddly in a suit rather than his usual tracksuit and boots, was not at his happiest. He's such a surly, dour individual at times, and yet remains one of the managers that's easiest to like. Right now, his players knew he didn't like them. Their defence had proved their Achilles heel again as Turner was allowed to rise way too easily.
Tim Cahill, another fine footballer, nodded down a long Neville ball which Yakubu then volleyed cleanly goalwards, but right at Myhill. Snapshots, half-chances, that's all Everton were now managing.
At the other end, King swerved a delicious free kick just inches past Howard's post as City looked positive and resourceful. King then turned nicely on to Halmosi's cross after good advantage play by the referee, but shot over as Marney, placed perfectly, screamed for a tee-up. One up at the break, thunderous applause from the KC, but you could sense Everton would re-emerge a changed side.
They indeed were changed, not just in attitude but in personnel too. The dropped Joleon Lescott - vastly improved since his last visit to the KC, when Jon Parkin massacred him in a Championship clash against Wolves three seasons ago - was back in the defence and, even more ominously, Louis Saha was introduced up front. Everton immediately looked stronger, dominant and more ruthless. Yet it was City who scored next.
Another corner, Marney this time elected for the near post curler and shocking lack of communication between two defenders and Howard meant the ball deflected of Neville's head and Howard's gloves prior to crossing the line, with King adding a touch without any hope of claiming the goal. Neville was 'credited' with it but three Evertonians were to blame. No matter for City, they were 2-0 up and it looked peachy.
As if the nerves had arrived the moment the game restarted, City dropped deep. Remember when Peter Taylor's men used to defend leads by refusing to do anything of purpose with the ball? It happened again. It almost certainly wasn't under instruction from the technical area, but Everton found themselves in almost exclusive possession of the ball and despite some meaty defending from City, it seemed inevitable they'd pull one back.
City did cope, at first. Arteta fizzed a wonderful ball through to Saha, whose vicious hit was well pushed aside by Myhill. Then the same striker had one blocked into Lescott's path and the defender swatted the ball too high.
Phil Brown then made a mistake. He brought on Caleb Folan for Cousin - indeed this was two mistakes. Cousin had started quietly but seemed to be getting into more of a stride on his debut by the time the board went up, whereas King was shattered and looking less bothered. So the wrong striker came off - and the wrong one went on. Folan spent his 20 minutes looking severely off-the-boil, chasing little on the ground and winning even less in the air. Everton's notoriously shaky back line were now in a comfort zone, and they consequently could attack from the back.
So, Everton attack again. Osman turns and hits a cross shot which panics the Tigers defence and reaches Cahill. The shot gets a fingertip from Myhill, touches the bar and bounces down for Dawson to clear. Instant reaction here was that it was a goal, and indeed the assistant referee gave it. 2-1 now, and Brown's disgruntled reaction afterwards was with forked tongue, as the replay was not inconclusive, as he claimed. It was a goal. It was a hard call, but it was good officiating.
There are fewer than 20 minutes left when Cahill scores. Within another six minutes, Everton are level. Fellaini had already misconnected in front of goal from a Neville cross, allowing Myhill to grab the ball with no little relief, but the Tigers keeper - and, indeed, the rest of the side - were powerless as Saha and Yakubu combined gloriously on the left hand side, leaving the suspect Paul McShane dizzy and beaten, and the ball in from Yakubu was thighed home by Osman. It's a sickener, but a brilliant team goal and an example of what Premier League standard bearers can do to an inexperienced side. 2-2, and if anyone's going to win, it's Everton.
Ahead of Osman's leveller, Brown had introduced Richard Garcia for Mendy. For all Mendy's endeavour and silk on the ball, he remains an enigma and a danger to his own team in these early days and one wonders if Garcia - especially with Fagan now unavailable too - will reclaim the right hand side when City travel to Arsenal next week. The introduction of Boateng later for the dead-on-his-feet King was welcomed too, but without the Gunners in mind. Boateng's return to fitness is a boon, a godsend. But, thinking about it now, it seems a shoo-in that he'll start at the Emirates.
So, in the last ten minutes, either side could have won it. Myhill handled an Arteta swinger badly, leaving Saha with the open goal but a ridiculous angle. He got it right, but the keeper made up for his gaffe by scrambling back and - despite the crazy decision to give a goalkick - getting his fingers to the goalbound shot. At the other end, City won a free kick which was made in heaven for Andy Dawson, but a confusing unwillingness to let the left back test Howard ended up with a short ball to McShane which was duly wasted.
An apt result for the type of game it became, as each side received their rightful share of appreciative applause after an entertaining match. Those who bemoan the loss of two points have a pertinent issue to raise, but most of the establishment in English football will be capable of such turnarounds this season, irrespective of how they or their opponents are performing up to that point. City can be grateful and satisfied with the draw, knowing that after trying to keep the goal difference down at the Emirates next week, they can play Tottenham and West Ham in the weeks which follow and expect to use their Everton experience as a tool to win both.
Hull: Myhill, McShane, Turner, Zayatte, Dawson, Mendy (Garcia 77), Ashbee, Marney, Halmosi, Cousin (Folan 69), King (Boateng 81). Subs not used: Duke, Geovanni, Hughes, Ricketts.
Everton: Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Yobo, Baines (Lescott 46), Osman, Fellaini, Arteta, Castillo (Saha 46), Cahill,Yakubu (Vaughan 87). Subs not used: Nash, Nuno Valente, Rodwell, Baxter.