Hull City 2-3 Everton (AET): Townsend strike sees Toffees scrape through to Fourth Round
HULL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 08: Ryan Longman of Hull City celebrates after scoring their sides second goal during the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Hull City and Everton at MKM Stadium on January 08, 2022 in Hull, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

It was a breathtaking third round tie in East Yorkshire as Premier League Everton needed extra time to beat Championship Hull City at the MKM Stadium in front of prospective new owner Acun Illicali.

Tyler Smith gave the home side a dream start with barely a minute on the clock, but Everton soon grew into the game and were up 1-2 at half time after goals from Demarai Gray and Andres Gomes. City are made of stern stuff, however, and substitute Ryan Longman made it 2-2 with 20 minutes to go. The home side started extra time on top but Andros Townsend's speculative effort from range put Everton 2-3 up.

  • Story of the match

Everton got the match underway, but Hull City pressed from the off with Tyler Smith winning a free kick after just 20 seconds. George Honeyman took the free kick and Smith headed in his first City goal, remarkably putting the home side up after just 43 seconds.

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On four minutes, great work by Honeyman and then Smith saw a cross put in for Tom Eaves, and Asmir Begovic had to tip his header over the bar with the MKM Stadium rocking in front of new prospective owner Acun Illicali.

Everton won a corner on six minutes, but it didn't beat the first man and went out for a goal kick. Hull played a neat passage a few minutes later but Jacob Greaves was adjudged to have fouled Begovic and the chance for the home side had gone.

Everton were starting to come forward and test the City defence as they grew into the game - both Ben Godfrey and Demarari Gray tried to make things happen, but Hull were working tirelessly to shut down all avenues of opportunity.

Great running in behind on 15 minutes saw Eaves in on goal, but Begovic made a smart stop. Good play from Eaves and Keane Lewis-Potter soon after saw the latter strike a shot at goal, but he saw his effort go high and wide over the bar and into the travelling Everton supporters.

Out of nothing on 20 minutes, Everton were undeservedly level. Great play from Damarai Gray saw him pick up the ball, play a quick one-two and then slide the ball past Nathan Baxter in the Hull City goal. It was a great piece of individual skill but was the only time in the opening minutes of the game that Everton had looked a threat. Anthony Gordon hit the post soon after as they looked to have woken from their slumber.

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Baxter saved from Gray on 24 minutes, but the resulting corner was wasted. Eaves just couldn't reach Greg Docherty's searching ball as City looked to counter on the next phase of play. Everton felt Greaves handled the ball in the area soon after but the referee waved away the claims. Gordon was proving to be the key man and Baxter had to claw away an effort after the youngster played a superb ball in behind the Hull defence.

Gordon was then extremely lucky not to go in the book as he led with an elbow on Greaves, before Everton went in front on the half hour mark. Gray was influential again, playing the ball out to Jonjoe Kenny who crossed for Andre Gomes to head home. City were stung back into action and after Greaves' blocked effort, Docherty had an effort saved and then Sean McLoughlin also had a volley blocked. 

Tom Eaves was in the thick of things for the home side, playing the ball in behind for Smith who eventually won a corner. The Tigers couldn't make the set piece count, however. Everton won a couple of corners of their own with five minutes to go to the break, but Hull defended doggedly.

Good play for Honeyman and Keane Lewis-Potter saw Hull win a corner on 42 minutes, but Everton counter through Gray before Docherty got a good tackle in. Great play from Randell Williams saw him win a free kick into added time, but the home side couldn't make the chance count as the whistle went for the half time break.

Half time: Hull City 1-2 Everton

The home side got the game back underway with neither Grant McCann or Rafa Benitez opting to make any changes at the break. Williams had the opportunity to cross after just a minute, but scuffed it awfully. Both sides did not let up in their pressuring of each other, with the game having a proper cup tie feel.

A superb challenge from Greaves denied Solomon Rondon a certain goal early into the second half, and then a great save from Baxter again kept the score at 1-2.  McLoughlin produced a superb tackle on Gordon as Everton looked the most likely to score.

McCann was the first to make changes as Docherty, Smallwood and Williams were all withdrawn for George Moncur, Tom Huddlestone and Ryan Longman respectively on 62 minutes.

Hull's best passage of play came with 20 minutes to go and Huddlestone was involved heavily. He won the ball in a 50/50 and passed to Moncur, who set up Longman. The on-loan Brighton forward then curled an unstoppable shot beyond Begovic to send the home crowd into raptures and get the Tigers back on level terms at 2-2.

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The Tigers got a reminder of the quality Everton have when Gray's curling effort went just past the far post with the game there for the taking for both sides. Huddlestone cleared the ball away when Everton went forward with 15 minutes to go and when Everton won a free kick deep into the Hull City half, the home fans watched on with baited breath as Andros Townsend's freekick was only half cleared for a number of corners.

Amazing hold up play from Eaves eventually saw Lewis-Potter shoot from the edge of the area with Moncur involved again, but his shot came back off the post with only seven minutes remaining. The game looked like it could go either way and Eaves will wonder why he tried to head back for his strike partner late on when he could have done better to have a go at goal himself.

Honeyman then did enough to stop Rondon up the other end as four minutes of added time were announced. Neither side was able to get a winner - despite the home side coming the closest - so the game went into extra time, with replays being scrapped in the FA Cup this year.

Full time - Hull City 2-2 Everton

Hull began the first half of extra time putting pressure on the away side, but the Everton defense stood strong. It looked more likely that the home side would be the one to score, but Townsend's speculative effort from distance managed to beat Baxter and give Everton an undeserved lead.

In the second half, McCann threw on youngster Josh Hinds to replace the excellent Smith and he almost scored with his first touch - Begovic had to be alert to save smartly from point blank range. 

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There was one last chance for the Tigers with only a minute to go, but it went begging as Everton nearly went up the other end with Lewis Dobbin. A superb challenge from Honeyman put a stop to the break and Everton scraped through to Round Four.

  • Stand-out players

Where to start for both sides? Anthony Gordon was superb for the visitors - especially first half - but Demarai Gray was unplayable at times for the Toffees. He took his goal superbly well and caused the Hull defence no end of problems. For the home side, George Honeyman impressed in the middle as well as Tom Eaves up front, who was superb throughout.