Demarai Gray and Anthony Gordon impressed as a sub-par Everton side got the better of Hull City in extra time in the FA Cup third round.

Everton and Hull City played out a topsy turvy encounter that saw the pendulum swing both ways before coming to rest in the former’s favour. The visitors got off to the worst possible start as Tyler Smith struck in the first minute to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. A shell-shocked Everton side fought back and levelled the score in the 21st minute thanks to the excellent Demarai Gray.

Hull were comfortably the better side until that point, but Everton grew into the game once they drew level. This culminated in Andre Gomes putting the Toffees ahead on the night following a well-taken goal just after the half-hour mark.

Gray continued to cause much trouble for the Hull defence, but his impressive attacking forays were only matched by his inability to put away the opportunities. His wastefulness kept Hull in the game, and they duly obliged by drawing level in the 71st minute thanks to Ryan Longman.

Keane Lewis-Potter fizzed a shot just wide of the Everton goal and ensured that the game went into extra time. Andros Townsend was then the man of the hour as he fizzled in a long-range strike to give Everton the lead for the second time on the night. Heroics from Asmir Begovic helped the Toffees hang on for a much-needed win.

It is a testament to Everton’s struggles that they were pushed up against the wall by a side struggling to retain their status in the Championship this season. Rafael Benitez has a lot of work to do, but for now, he can celebrate a hard-fought win that should, at the very least, give birth to some momentum for the upcoming games. The Hard Tackle looks at how the Everton players fared on the night.

Asmir Begovic: 7/10

Begovic did not have the best of nights, and he was subjected to making several saves. In his defence, he was let down by the players ahead of him who lacked both structure and intent. His distribution was not on point, and he struggled to get the ball rolling as far as playing out from the back was concerned.

Begovic, however, made a sensational save to deny Tom Eaves from point-blank range in the second half of extra time. While he could have certainly done better on the night, the veteran goalkeeper was dependable when needed and should be thanked for ensuring his side made it to the fourth round.

Seamus Coleman: 5/10

The right-back looked out of place in the back three and struggled to contain Eaves on the night. He improved in the second half as Everton returned to a back four, prompting Coleman to take up his familiar role on the right flank.

Michael Keane: 5/10

The English defender had his moments and was repeatedly called into action as Hull threatened. However, his passing was wayward, and Keane struggled to make an impact in kick-starting any of Everton’s attacks.

Ben Godfrey: 5/10

He was more impressive going forward than in defence. The 23-year-old’s pace played a key role in recovering and responding to Hull’s attacks. Godfrey will need to do much better if he can aid Everton in the months to come.

Jonjoe Kenny: 6/10

Kenny was also better going forward than in defence. He provided the scrumptious cross that helped Andre Gomes give Everton the lead for the first time on the night. However, his inability to win a 50-50 challenge enabled Hull to seize the initiative in the buildup to Longman’s equaliser.

Allan: 5/10

A birthday to forget for the 31-year-old who huffed and puffed on the night. He looks miles away from the player he was at Napoli and looks devoid of inspiration or imagination. Allan did get slightly better as the game went on. However, it is far from his best, and he will need to considerably up his game.

Andre Gomes: 7/10

The former Barcelona man was amongst Everton’s best players on the night and was always at hand to make forward forays. Gomes was well placed to head home Everton’s second goal of the night. The goal boosted his confidence, and he looked assured in possession as the game wore on.

Vitaliy Mykolenko: 4/10

The January signing did not enjoy the best of debuts and struggled to cope with the directness of Hull’s attacks. Given that it was his first match in around a month, some amount of rust in his performance was palatable.

He got better as the game went on and made an important goal-line clearance in the second half. There is every indication that Everton can have a fine player on their hands once Mykolenko gets used to the English game.

Anthony Gordon: 7/10

Gordon was impressive on the night and matched Gray’s efforts on the other flank. Both wingers were central to everything decisive Everton managed to achieve in the attacking sense. While he might not have scored on the night, his run of form augurs well for a Toffees side lacking in inspiration.

Salomon Rondon: 5/10

The target man huffed and puffed on the day and used his physicality to good effect. However, he failed to show off his clinical ability in front of goal and lacked the edge to make the difference.

Demarai Gray: 7/10

He was easily Everton’s standout player and showed excellent technical ability to score his goal. While he showed superb imagination to fashion opportunities, the inability to finish off opportunities meant those chances went begging.

SUBSTITUTES

Andros Townsend: 6/10

The Englishman did precious little apart from scoring the winner, and for Everton, that was enough.

Abdoulaye Doucoure: 6/10

The midfielder’s introduction added some much-needed muscle to the Everton midfield that was under the threat of being overrun.

Jean-Philippe Gbamin: 6/10

The midfielder looked up for the game but hardly did anything to impact proceedings.

Lewis Dobbin: N/A

A lively outing for the youngster who continues to grow in confidence.

Cenk Tosun: N/A

The Turk was only on the pitch for a few minutes and did not have enough time to impact proceedings.

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