Tuesday night's long trip to Bristol City proved to be a welcome distraction after five consecutive league defeats and a further injury blow to Mike Phelan's Hull City.
Maguire makes up for Snodgrass absence
As the Tigers' faithful set about making their 225 mile journey down south, they were passed the unwanted news that key midfielder and top goalscorer Robert Snodgrass will be out for an estimated four weeks after damaging his ankle ligaments. With Club Secretary Matt Wild also announcing his intention to step down in favour of joining Wolverhampton Wanderers, it was not the preparation Mike Phelan and new Assistant Manager Neil McDonald were hoping for.
Yet after a tense start at Ashton Gate, a strong Hull outfit soon put any side issues to the back of their minds. Abel Hernandez returned to the starting eleven and almost made an instant impact on 18 minutes when his long range thunderbolt cannoned back off the crossbar. Bobby Reid went close for the hosts as he fired a warning sign from the edge of the box as his shot whistled over.
Though as the half began to draw to a close, the visitors began to stack the pressure with a flurry of corners. Ryan Mason was able to produce a pinpoint delivery as he found Harry Maguire with the defender heading his first goal for Hull just before the break.
Deja-vu after the break
The opener came one minute before half-time and the hosts would have been disappointed to concede a replica of the goal just two minutes into the second half. Another Mason corner picked out a second defender who had pushed up for the set-piece, with Michael Dawson the beneficiary this time as he doubled Hull's advantage.
The Premier League side could have put the game beyond doubt just moments later as Hernandez released Adoma Diomande who dragged his effort wide. That moment finally seemed to spark Bristol City into life as Marlon Pack and Callum O'Dowda both fired efforts just wide.
Hull began to invite pressure onto themselves and if it were not for Eldin Jakupovic they could have been enticed into a nervy ending. O'Dowda tested the second choice goalkeeper, before he pulled off an outstanding save to keep out Lee Tomlin.
Both teams exchanged chances in the final minutes, as Josh Tymon played through Hernandez who saw his shot blocked, before Tammy Abraham fired an effort just wide.
Tomlin did manage to grab an injury time consolation for Bristol City but it will be Hull in the hat for the quarter-final draw on Wednesday.