Hull City is set to meet Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship playoff after preserving their 3-goal lead against Derby County to advance by 3-2 on aggregate
But even in front of a sell-out home crowd, Hull had looked nervy from the start. They failed failed to get up to speed as Cyrus Christie was allowed time and space to send over a cross from the right which Chris Martin headed back across the six-yard box.
It was met by Johnny Russell, whose initial effort was blocked, but the Scotsman was alert to the rebound and followed up to score from close range.
Hull conceded just 12 times in 23 home games in the regular season, but they looked anything but secure as the nail-biting match progresses.
A second arrived for the Rams nine minutes before the break, as Andy Robertson, the player who had scored Hull’s third goal in the first leg during the weekend, deflected Craig Bryson’s low cross past Eldin Jakupovic.
But as Bryson missed a point-blank chance and the game ended at the final whistle, Hull manager Steve Bruce breathed a sigh of relief – his team had put their foot in to the Wembley final for the third time in two years.
In the meantime, Derby will spend a ninth consecutive season in the Championship.
Earlier, Sheffield had already booked their place in the final as they held off a spirited Brighton team to win 3-1 on aggregate.