Hull 2-3 Everton: Townsend comes to Rafa's rescue in extra time

Hull 2-3 Everton: Andros Townsend comes to Rafa Benitez’s rescue in extra time as thrilling contest sees efforts from Demarai Gray and Andre Gomes cancelled out by Tyler Smith and Ryan Longman

  • Everton eventually ran out 3-2 winners against Hull in a thrilling FA Cup tie
  • Andros Townsend came on to scored the winner in the first half of extra time 
  • Hull took the lead inside 60 seconds thanks to striker Tyler Smith
  • Demarai Gray and Andre Gomes then hit back to make it 2-1 at half-time
  • Hull substitute Ryan Longman then scored a long-range goal to make it 2-2 

Andros Townsend scored one of his Brazilian-style specials to get Rafa Benitez out of a hole in a thrilling FA Cup tie that went to extra-time.

Everton fans were chanting for the manager’s head after Championship Hull went in front after only 43 seconds through Tyler Smith.

The visitors, whose last major trophy was in this competition 27 years ago, rallied to take a half-time lead with goals from Demarai Gray and Andre Gomes before Ryan Longman took an exhilarating tie into an extra half-hour.

Andros Townsend’s late strike saw Everton battle past Hull 3-2 in a thriller after extra time

Hull were lively from the off and took a stunning lead inside the first minute from a free-kick

Hull forward Tyler Smith (centre) headed home to give the Tigers a dream start in the match

Everton fans showed their displeasure with Rafa Benitez and had a banner calling for him to go

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

Subs not used: Ingram, Cannon, Smith, Fleming, Hinds, Mills 

Bookings: Huddlestone

Goals: Smith 1, Longman 71

Everton 3-4-3: Begovic; Coleman, Keane, Godfrey; Kenny (Doucoure 74), Allan, Gomes (Gbamin 88), Mykolenko; Gordon (Townsend 66), Rondon, Gray (Dobbin 105)

Subs not used: Pickford, Patterson, Holgate, Tosun, Onyango  

Bookings: Mykolenko

Goals: Gray 21, Gomes 31

Referee: Andy Madley 

Attendance: 16,282 

Substitute Townsend, famed for his long-range strikes, then grabbed the glory with a fantastic hit with the outside of his right boot from 30 yards in the 99th minute. Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic then kept the Premier League side in front with a brilliant reflex stop to deny Tom Eaves.

Benitez handed a debut to January signing Vitaliy Mykolenko who slotted it at left wing-back with out-of-favour Lucas Digne not involved.

Striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin was also given the night off after playing 90 minutes in his comeback from long-term injury last weekend.

Like Everton, Hull are sixth-from-bottom in their division, The Championship, though substitute Tom Huddlestone was a reminder of happier times when they reached the FA Cup Final against Arsenal in 2014.

Hull took advantage of Everton’s Achilles heel, marking at set pieces, to strike in the opening minute.

George Honeyman swung in a free-kick inside the right-hand touchline and as Everton defenders hesitated Smith nipped in to head past Begovic for his first Hull goal after signing from Sheffield United.

Benitez scratched his ear in puzzlement and things almost got worse for the Spaniard when Begovic had to make a brilliant tip over to stop Eaves’ header.

Begovic was the busier goalkeeper and had to save again from Eaves as Everton’s unfamiliar 3-4-3 looked a mess.

It prompted chants of “You’re getting sacked in the morning” to Benitez from mocking Hull fans, which the travelling Evertonians first applauding and then joined in. One banner in the corner read: “Get out of our club”.

But not for the first time in his career, Benitez was able to give a timely response with his side levelling after 21 minutes.

Demarai Gray led Everton’s fight back and scored the equaliser after driving at Hull’s defence

Everton took control and added a second before half-time with Andre Gomes’ (No 21) header

Everton were cruising in the second half and had several chances to put the game to bed

It was a well-worked goal with two of Everton’s younger players Gray and Anthony Gordon exchanging quick passes in the box before Gray slotted in for his sixth goal of the campaign.

More importantly, it shifted the momentum of the game in the Premier League side’s favour.

There were strong penalty appeals when Jacob Greaves handled from Demarai Gray but with no VAR, Benitez had to chunter his displeasure rather then being awarded a spot-kick.

Michael Keane brought a fingertip save from Nathan Baxter and after 31 minutes they took the lead for the first time.

Jonjoe Kenny ventured forward from wing-back and his cross was on the money for a stooping Andre Gomes to head in from 12 yards.

But it was Hull who found an equaliser from nowhere thanks to Ryan Longman’s curling strike

Longman, who had just come on, sent Hull fans wild and changed the game’s momentum

It was the Portuguese midfielder’s first goal since February 2019 when he was still an Everton loanee from Barcelona.

Hull City’s prospective new owner Acun Ilicali – dubbed Turkey’s Simon Cowell – was in the crowd at the MKM Stadium to see if Grant McCann’s men could fight their way back.

McCann made a triple change after 64 minutes with former England international and it worked spectacularly well with all three involved in the equaliser seven minutes later.

Tom Huddlestone won a crunching tackle to dispossess Kenny to allow George Moncur to run to the edge of the Everton box. He fed Ryan Longman and the Hull No16 curled a beauty beyond Begovic.

The Tigers then almost went ahead when Keane Lewis-Potter struck the post from 18 yards with Begovic beaten.

Everton boss Rafa Benitez (right) rang the personnel changes but the game went to extra time

Townsend then struck his long-range effort in the 99th minute to put Everton 3-2 ahead

But Hull were very unlucky not to equalise thanks to an excellent save from Asmir Begovic

The drama continued into extra-time when Everton restored their lead after 98 minutes in stunning fashion.

Moncur gave the ball away cheaply but there still looked little on for Townsend until he hit a fantastic shot with the outside of his right boot, the ball flying away from Baxter.

Though the ball didn’t end up in the corner, the swerve caught the ‘keeper out.

It was a spectacular return for the 30-year-old Everton winger who hadn’t played since December 12 after cracking a bone in his foot at Crystal Palace.

And it proved the matchwinner when Begovic stuck out a strong left hand to deny Eaves from six yards.     

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