But the party atmosphere rapidly disappeared when the game started and some fans even booed off the players at half time.
That was because Hull failed to click and Darlington were clearly the superior side.
The Quakers almost took the lead in the 36th minute when Craig Liddle hit the bar and then grabbed the lead on the stroke of half time from Simon Betts.
Hull came out the second half with all guns firing and substitute Stuart Elliott immediately drew a flying save from Michael Ingham.
Then Phil Jevons was played through but stumbled just outside the area as Liddle challenged.
Referee Mark Warren pulled out a red card - a decision that incensed manager Mick Tait who said: "It was a ridiculous decision and it looked as though the referee got carried away."
It left Darlington with a battle for the final forty minutes as Hull inspired by the sparky Elliott pressed forward.
Ingham won a one to one challenge with Stuart Green and then made a superb block from the same player, gasping with relief as John Anderson put the rebound deep into the North stand.
The lively Green caused more problems with a sharp pass to Elliott whose first time shot from only four yards was clutched by Ingham.
It was their first league defeat in nine games under Peter Taylor and a disappointing end to 56 years at Boothferry Park.