Everton squeeze past Championship side Hull City after Andros Townsend's extra-time stunner

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Andros Townsend punches the air after making it 3-2 to Everton in extra time - AP
Andros Townsend punches the air after making it 3-2 to Everton in extra time - AP
  • Hull struck early on, drawing a reaction from Everton

  • Championship side hung in the fight, taking the match to extra-time before moment of quality separated the sides

It needed Andros Townsend to return from injury and come off the bench and rescue Everton at the MKM Stadium, but this was hardly the morale-boosting victory to ease the pressure off Rafa Benitez.

At the final whistle Benitez, dressed in a tracksuit and splash-jacket rather than his customary suit, removed his glasses and the look on his face was relief rather than elation.

His players had recovered from conceding in the first minute to Tyler Smith, then looked in control of the tie but were taken to extra-time after an equaliser by Ryan Longman. Hull sensed an FA Cup upset until Townsend’s stunning winner after coming off the bench from a month out with a cracked bone in his foot.

"Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a terrible patient when I'm injured. I needed to get back on the pitch as soon as possible," said Townsend.

"One thing we can say is that we are still fighting. In every game this season we have given ourselves work to do - we've gone behind early in games - but one thing this team has is character. When we cut out the silly mistakes early in games, hopefully we can go on a run and pick up some points in the league."

Benitez does not need reminding that his last match before his Liverpool dismissal in 2010 was at Hull’s stadium back in 2010. Farhad Moshiri, Everton’s owner, is determined for his manager to be a success at Goodison but, despite the eventual victory, there were worrying signs.

He has dealt with Lucas Digne wanting to leave the club this week and his job will be to change the mentality of a group of players who seem susceptible to pressure. The Spaniard is also battling against his own fans, who chanted their support to Digne and joined when Hull supporters suggested he would be sacked in the morning.

“We started making things difficult for ourselves but you could see the reaction was quite good and that shows the players care,” said Benitez. “Andros Towsend was injured but was playing because he wanted to help the team. That is the spirit you are expecting from our players.

“They showed character. It is something that a neutral can analyse and a team that reacts is a team that cares.”

While Everton have been in freefall over the last few months, there has been a recent mood of optimism, or at least intrigue, at Hull following a proposed takeover by a media mogul described as Turkey’s version of Simon Cowell.

Acun Ilicali was in the crowd and will have liked what he saw. He announced his intention to take over the club live on TV, sending the club’s social media accounts into meltdown within minutes. Making such a rapid impact is something the Hull players managed as they took advantage of an Everton team whose confidence has eroded since a positive start to the campaign.

Benitez and his analysts will have to go through the footage of how his players managed to concede a goal after 44 seconds despite taking kick-off. Smith’s goal was from a set-piece too. Everton would be hard pushed to press the self-destruct button any quicker in a match.

Once Hull had won the ball, they induced a foul from Demarai Gray on the right flank. George Honeyman swung over the free-kick and Smith was left unmarked to head powerfully into the top corner.

Hull City's English striker Tyler Smith (R) celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English FA Cup third round football match between Hull City and Everton at the MKM Stadium in Kingston upon Hull, north east England on January 8, 2022. - AFP
Hull City's English striker Tyler Smith (R) celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English FA Cup third round football match between Hull City and Everton at the MKM Stadium in Kingston upon Hull, north east England on January 8, 2022. - AFP

Benitez showed no emotion when his team equalised, which was solely down to Gray. He trapped a hanging ball expertly in a dangerous position before heading towards goal. After exchanging passes with Anthony Gordon he slotted his finish under Nathan Baxter, his third goal in five games.

Baxter could do nothing to stop Everton taking the lead on the half-hour mark, the strike coming from Andre Gomes’ header after a cross from Jonjoe Kenny. After their disastrous start, Benitez was now animated, but will be worried how his team looked in control, only to get pegged back by Hull.

Grant McCann, the Hull manager, can be credited with his part in the equaliser as all of his three substitutes combined for the equaliser. Firstly Tom Huddlestone won the ball in midfield, then George Moncur drove his team towards the penalty. His lay-off invited Longman to curl his finish into the top corner from the edge of the box.

In another attack, Keane Lewis-Potter struck the post after cutting inside, with Hull sensing an upset.

With penalties looming, it needed a moment of magic from Townsend. The substitute picked up the ball 30 yards from goal before pulling off a stepover to manouevre around his old Tottenham team-mate Huddlestone. His shot arrowed into the top corner.

It still required an outstanding save from Begovic to deny Tom Eaves from close-range and prevent a shoot-out.

Townsend is now targeting a long run in the cup, and possibly a first triumph since 1995. “That is what this club needs,” he said. “It needs to get into Europe whether through the league or the cup. Unfortunately we went out of the League Cup but we're getting players back from injury and hopefully we can go far in this competition.”

Match details

Hull (3-5-2): Baxter 7; Bernard 6, Greaves 7, McLoughlin 6; Williams 5 (Longman 63), Honeyman 8, Docherty 5 (Moncur 63), Smallwood 5 (Huddlestone 63), Lewis-Potter 6; Eaves 6, Smith 7 (Hinds 110)

Subs (not used): Ingram (g), Cannon, Smith, Fleming, Hinds, Mills

Booked: Huddlestone

Everton (3-4-3): Begovic 7; Coleman 5, Keane 5, Godfrey 6; Kenny 6 (Doucoure 74), Allan 6, Andre Gomes 6 (Gbamin 88), Mylenko 6; Gordon 7 (Townsend 65), Rondon 5 (Tosun 117), Gray 7 (Dobbin 105)

Subs (not used): Pickford (g), Patterson, Holgate, Onyango

Booked: Mylenko, Godfrey

Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire & Rutland)

Hull City vs Everton, as it happened:

08:10 PM

Full time, Hull 2-3 Everton (AET)

It's all over at the MKM Stadium, with Townsend's long-range strike enough to win it for Everton.

Hull will probably be happier with their performance, all told. The Toffees may be through to the fourth round, but the manner of the win will do little to improve Benitez's standing with supporters.

08:05 PM

118 mins, Hull 2-3 Everton

Hull win a free kick but an exhausted Honeyman fluffs his delivery.

In fairness to him, he does manage to get back and break up an Everton counter-attack with a well-placed tackle.

08:02 PM

Benitez makes a fifth substitution

... with Rondon coming off for Cenk Tosun in a change primarily intended to eat up a few seconds.

08:00 PM

113 mins, Hull 2-3 Everton

Ben Godfrey is booked for timewasting, with Everton looking to eke out the win.

Right on cue, Everton fans unfurl a banner which reads: "Benitez, get out of our club".

07:58 PM

112 mins, Hull 2-3 Everton

Dobbin goes round Honeyman on the left, scampering into the box and winning a corner.

Everton try to execute a short-corner routine, but it doesn't work. Dobbin gets a round of applause from the travelling fans regardless.

07:56 PM

109 mins, Hull 2-3 Everton

Hull win another corner and so nearly level, Huddlestone heading down to Eaves who forces Begovic into a desperate save.

Hinds almost scores with his first touch on the follow-up, but can only poke the ball narrowly wide of the post.

07:54 PM

108 mins, Hull 2-3 Everton

McCann makes his fourth change of the game, bringing on Josh Hinds for Smith.

07:53 PM

107 mins, Hull 2-3 Everton

Moncur wins a corner from Keane, earning a roar of approval from the home fans.

Honeyman fails to get his delivery past the first defender. Both teams are visibly tiring at this stage.

07:50 PM

Second period of extra time to come

Everton have 15 minutes to hold on to their lead at the MKM Stadium.

Benitez brings on academy prospect Lewis Dobbin to replace Gray, who had started to flag.

07:47 PM

105 mins, Hull 2-3 Everton

Rondon gets in behind, but Greaves slides in and dispossesses him just as he looks to apply the finish.

07:45 PM

102 mins, Hull 2-3 Everton

Allan gives away a free kick to the right of the box and Honeyman steps up.

His delivery is deflected as far as Huddlestone, who can only muster up a weak shot which bounces away harmlessly.

07:41 PM

GOAL! Hull 2-3 Everton

Townsend might just have spared Everton's blushes here.

Picking up the ball in midfield, he has a pop from long range. The ball swerves in the air and deceives Baxter, who gets a hand to it but can't keep it out.

07:36 PM

94 mins, Hull 2-2 Everton

Gray makes a darting run across the box and gets a shot off, but Greaves blocks it.

07:34 PM

Extra time begins

... and Hull start as they mean to go on, driving forwards with intent.

07:31 PM

Full time, Hull 2-2 Everton

With no replays owing to the fixture congestion caused by Covid, we've got half an hour of extra time to come.

It could still go either way, this one. While Everton can point to a couple of decisions which have gone in Hull's favour, their hosts have matched them in every department.

07:24 PM

90+3 mins, Hull 2-2 Everton

Eaves gets a downwards header on target, but it's an easy save for Begovic.

Huddlestone picks up a booking soon afterwards for a foul in midfield.

07:21 PM

90 mins, Hull 2-2 Everton

Honeyman and Rondon tangle on the edge of the box and, while it looked like a foul, Friend signals for the Everton forward to get up.

07:20 PM

88 mins, Hull 2-2 Everton

Everton have a chance to win the game themselves, Townsend crossing to Doucoure who heads over the bar.

Benitez makes another change, bringing off Gomes for Jean-Philippe Gbamin.

07:15 PM

82 mins, Hull 2-2 Everton

Hull are inches away from a winner, Lewis-Potter cutting inside and smashing a shot against the post.

07:10 PM

78 mins, Hull 2-2 Everton

Everton have a spell of pressure, but Hull cling on grimly and eventually break out of their encirclement.

Amid a series of half-chances for the visitors, Greaves appeared to block a shot from Gray with his hand. That's the second time he's got away with one tonight.

07:06 PM

74 mins, Hull 2-2 Everton

Longman has gone into berserker mode, thundering up the right flank and crossing to Eaves at the back post.

Unfortunately for Hull, Eaves can't get his header on target. Everton are rocking once more.

07:04 PM

Benitez makes another switch

07:03 PM

73 mins, Hull 2-2 Everton

Longman does really well to set up Lewis-Potter on the edge of the area, but he balloons his attempted finish over the crossbar.

07:02 PM

GOAL! Hull 2-2 Everton

Out of nowhere, Hull are back in this tie.

Huddlestone wins the ball high up the pitch and moves it on to Moncur. He lays it off to Longman, completing the substitute trifecta, and watches as his fellow midfielder lashes one into the back of the net from distance.

06:59 PM

69 mins, Hull 1-2 Everton

Coleman tries to lump a long ball up to Mykolenko on the charge, but he overhits it straight to Baxter.

06:56 PM

First substitution for Toffees

... with Andros Townsend coming on for Gordon, which is a bit of a surprise given that he's been one of Everton's best players.

06:53 PM

McCann rings the changes

... with Williams, Docherty and Richard Smallwood coming off for Ryan Longman, George Moncur and Tom Huddlestone.

06:52 PM

61 mins, Hull 1-2 Everton

Keane drives forwards into midfield and picks out Gray in acres of space on the left.

He bursts past Di'Shon Bernard and into the box, but Sean McLoughlin gets across to make a crucial block.

06:48 PM

56 mins, Hull 1-2 Everton

Allan makes an interception in midfield and sends Gray away through the middle.

He picks out Gordon to his right and, from a tight angle, his teammate forces Baxter to make a smart save.

06:44 PM

53 mins, Hull 1-2 Everton

Gomes slips through Gray but, just as he shapes to shoot, Greaves makes a vital intervention.

06:43 PM

52 mins, Hull 1-2 Everton

Gray gets in behind on the left and squares to Rondon five yards out, but the ball is a little bit behind him and he can't quite get a shot away on the turn.

06:42 PM

51 mins, Hull 1-2 Everton

Gomes gives away a free kick for a soft foul on Honeyman.

There's a roar from the stands after Eaves goes down in a tangle of limbs while trying to get on the end of the resulting ball into the box, but there's nothing in it really.

06:38 PM

48 mins, Hull 1-2 Everton

Smith marauds into the box, but fails to test Begovic with a scuffed finish.

06:35 PM

Second half kicks off

... with Hull getting us back underway.

06:25 PM

Half time, Hull 1-2 Everton

Everton were completely off the pace for the first 20 minutes or so, rocking on their heels following Smith's opener less than a minute into the game.

Gray turned the tide with a well-taken leveller, rallying his teammates. Gomes put the visitors ahead just after the half-hour mark and, while Hull have had their moments since, Everton deserve their narrow lead.

06:19 PM

45+1 mins, Hull 1-2 Everton

Mykolenko is booked after bringing down Williams as he looks to skip through on the right.

Honeyman gets another delivery into the danger zone, but Begovic comes off his line and punches clear.

06:17 PM

42 mins, Hull 1-2 Everton

Gray is making life extremely difficult for Hull, evading several challenges out on the left only to be stopped at the last.

06:13 PM

39 mins, Hull 1-2 Everton

Docherty fouls Gordon out wide and Everton have a free kick.

They probe the area, looking for an opening, and eventually win two corners in quick succession. Both bobble dangerously in the box, but Hull survive.

06:09 PM

34 mins, Hull 1-2 Everton

Rondon plays in Gordon on the right, but he blazes over the crossbar from a promising position.

06:06 PM

32 mins, Hull 1-2 Everton

Hull very nearly score immediately after the restart, a long throw causing chaos in the box.

Eaves heads it backwards and Begovic flaps at it, with the ball falling for Greg Docherty. Begovic redeems himself with a good save.

06:04 PM

GOAL! Hull 1-2 Everton

That's an excellent goal from Everton, who have turned things around after a horrible start.

Gordon picks out Kenny on the overlap and he hooks a cross to the onrushing Gomes, who guides a header into the back of the net.

Andre Gomes is congratulated by his teammates - REUTERS
Andre Gomes is congratulated by his teammates - REUTERS

06:01 PM

28 mins, Hull 1-1 Everton

Michael Keane threatens an unlikely goal after a one-two with Gordon, who is acting as a human pivot at the moment, but Baxter denies him.

06:00 PM

26 mins, Hull 1-1 Everton

Everton appeal for a penalty after the ball hits Greaves' raised arm in the box, but Friend ignores them.

05:57 PM

23 mins, Hull 1-1 Everton

Everton seem to have been energised by that goal, Gordon sprinting down the right flank, cutting inside and skimming the outside of the post.

Moments later, Gray dances forwards on the left. He also cuts inside, forcing Baxter into a routine save.

05:55 PM

GOAL! Hull 1-1 Everton

It's well against the run of play, but Everton have their equaliser.

Demarai Gray plays a one-two with Anthony Gordon on the edge of the area, picking up the return ball before sliding a shot past Nathan Baxter into the far corner.

05:54 PM

18 mins, Hull 1-0 Everton

Keane Lewis-Potter evades two challenges in the middle of the park and unleashes a shot from distance, but it rises over the crossbar.

05:53 PM

17 mins, Hull 1-0 Everton

In a sign of how energetic Hull's pressing is right now, Honeyman dispossesses Gomes almost on the edge of the area and looks to initiate an attack.

While Everton sweep up, they are anything but comfortable at the back. Even with five defenders, they are struggling to hold it together.

05:49 PM

15 mins, Hull 1-0 Everton

Hull are playing some impressive stuff here, Honeyman and Eaves combining smoothly in midfield before the move breaks down on the edge of the area.

The hosts come forwards again, Eaves charging up the left flank. He gets past Coleman with a deft touch and forces Begovic into a save from a narrow angle.

05:47 PM

13 mins, Hull 1-0 Everton

Williams launches a long throw into the box and Eaves gets his head on it, but only makes glancing contact.

05:42 PM

9 mins, Hull 1-0 Everton

Begovic is almost outjumped by Jacob Greaves under a high ball into the box, but referee Kevin Friend awards a free kick in Everton's favour.

05:38 PM

5 mins, Hull 1-0 Everton

From the ensuing corner, Hull almost score again. Everton's defence is all over the place.

05:37 PM

4 mins, Hull 1-0 Everton

So close!

Hull almost go 2-0 up, Tom Eaves forcing Begovic into a fingertip save with a bullet header after an excellent cross from Randell Williams.

05:36 PM

2 mins, Hull 1-0 Everton

Everton win a free kick of their own, but it's easily cleared. It's early days, but they are giving off very bad vibes.

05:34 PM

GOAL! Hull 1-0 Everton

We're 45 seconds into the game and Hull are ahead.

The hosts win a free kick out on the right and George Honeyman whips in a delivery which falls perfectly for Tyler Smith, who heads home.

Tyler Smith knee slides across the turf - AFP
Tyler Smith knee slides across the turf - AFP

05:32 PM

No formation switch after all

Coleman is starting as a right-sided centre-back, with Kenny as right wing-back.

A back five against Championship opposition? There'll be pandemonium if Everton don't win this.

05:30 PM

Players out on the pitch

... and we're moments away from the start of the game.

05:19 PM

Warm-ups coming to a close

... with kick off just over 10 minutes away.

Jordan Pickford acknowledges the travelling fans - REUTERS
Jordan Pickford acknowledges the travelling fans - REUTERS

05:17 PM

Benitez switching formation?

Having gone for a 5-4-1 against Brighton, it looks like Benitez is shifting to a slightly more enterprising 4-2-3-1 here.

Mason Holgate has dropped to the bench to accommodate Mykolenko, with one of Jonjoe Kenny or Seamus Coleman presumably pushing up to the wing.

05:11 PM

Four changes for Everton

... from the side which lost 3-2 to Brighton last weekend.

New signing Vitaliy Mykolenko makes his debut at left-back, while Asmir Begovic comes in for Jordan Pickford in goal, Salomon Rondon swaps in for Dominic Calvert-Lewin up front and Andre Gomes replaces Abdoulaye Doucoure in midfield.

05:06 PM

Big day for Lewis-Potter

05:03 PM

Echoes of history

Believe it or not, the last FA Cup meeting between these two sides was all the way back in 1964.

Hull earned themselves a replay after a 1-1 draw at Boothferry Park, but lost 2-1 at Goodison. Alex Scott (not that one) and Brian Harris scored the goals for the hosts, with John McSeveney getting a consolation for the visitors.

04:53 PM

Hull fans feline fine before kick off

... what do you mean, a P45 is in the post?

A fan poses with Roary the Tiger, the Hull City mascot - REUTERS
A fan poses with Roary the Tiger, the Hull City mascot - REUTERS

04:40 PM

Tinfoil FA Cup sighting

04:37 PM

Everton team news

04:36 PM

Hull City team news

04:33 PM

Benitez's chance to salvage the season?

After a miserable few months in the Premier League, Rafa Benitez could do with some joy in the FA Cup.

Everton have one win from their last 12 league fixtures, a run which has seen them slump to 15th in the table. While they are eight points above the drop zone, the threat of relegation cannot be dismissed out of hand.

Not exactly the most popular choice of Everton manager given his association with Merseyside rivals Liverpool, Benitez has faced open mutiny in the stands at times. With increasingly vocal dissent against him and the club hierarchy, it'll be a tough ask for him to salvage the season and, in the long run, his tenure at Goodison Park.

While a decent cup run won't be enough to placate supporters on its own, it would at least give Benitez something to hold up as an achievement from his first campaign in charge. Even if securing Everton's Premier League status has to be his first priority, winning a few knockout games would add some excitement to what, at best, is shaping up to be a mundane slog.

Everton have not played Hull since March 2017, when the Tigers were last in the Premier League under Marco Silva. With their opponents currently 19th in the Championship, this should be a straightforward victory but also raises the possibility of a humiliating upset.

Speaking before the match, Benitez said: "Every game is massive and I know how important the cup is for the club and our fans.

"If we can do well in some games, we'll have more confidence and it will be easier to approach the next games. We have experience of what it means for [lower-league] teams to play against Premier League sides. It will be tough, for sure, but we are ready.

"I was pleased with the training session yesterday. The players were pushing and working hard. They realise after the Brighton game [a 3-2 defeat] we have to perform and do well. Mentally, we are ready."

Meanwhile, Hull manager Grant McCann has suggested that his side are capable of upsetting the odds. "We see [the game] as an opportunity to try to get through to the next round," he said.

"We understand that they are littered with quality all the way through their team but we're at home and expecting a big following. We want to go and give it a go and see if we can get ourselves into the next round."

Rafa Benitez arrives at the MKM Stadium - REUTERS
Rafa Benitez arrives at the MKM Stadium - REUTERS
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