Hull City are through to the last 16 of the Papa John’s Trophy after a penalty shoot-out victory over Crewe Alexandra at the KCOM Stadium.
After the two sides played out a goalless draw in 90 minutes, the Tigers edged through 3-2 on penalties with George Long saving two Crewe spot kicks.
Grant McCann made ten changes to his side for this knockout fixture, with Greg Docherty the only survivor from the weekend after receiving a late call-up to the eleven when Martin Samuelsen pulled out during the warm-up. Long started in goal, behind a back four that consisted of Lewie Coyle, Festus Arthur, Sean McLoughlin and Brandon Fleming. The central midfield three was made up of Regan Slater, Max Sheaf and Docherty, with Thomas Mayer and James Scott operating out wide in support of front man Tom Eaves.
Home-grown defender Jake Leake featured in the senior squad for the first time as he took a place on the bench.
Crewe threatened first when Charlie Kirk came in from the left before seeing a shot deflect away for a corner, and then Long had to make a save from a Chris Porter header.
Scott had the Tigers’ first attempt of the evening when he tested goalkeeper Dave Richards with a low shot from the edge of the area before Crewe’s Porter was booked for a foul on Slater.
Eaves departed the action and was replaced by Mallik Wilks nine minutes before the break, while Docherty saw a shot deflect into the side-netting as the sides headed in level at half time.
Docherty had another effort early in the second half which was held by Richards before Arthur thought he’d broken the deadlock when he headed in from a Mayer free kick but the offside flag was raised.
Scott headed a decent chance wide from Fleming’s cross before further changes saw Billy Chadwick and Hakeeb Adelakun replace Mayer and Sheaf.
Coyle fired a shot straight at Richards and Adelakun curled an effort just over the bar as the home side continued to have the better of things but with no breakthrough inside 90 minutes, the tie went to a penalty shoot-out.
Penalty Shoot-Out (Crewe Take First Spot Kick – South Stand end)
1-0: Porter goes down the middle
1-0: Docherty’s effort is saved by Richards
1-0: Finney sends his spot kick high over the bar
1-1: Chadwick levels things up
1-1: Long saves from Griffiths
1-2: Coyle nudges the Tigers in front
1-2: Long saves again, this time from Zanzala
1-2: Wilks sees his spot kick kept out by Richards
2-2: Ng with a confident penalty
2-3: Adelakun sends the Tigers through
Hull City: George Long; Lewie Coyle ©, Festus Arthur, Sean McLoughlin, Brandon Fleming; Regan Slater, Greg Docherty, Max Sheaf (Hakeeb Adelakun 71); Thomas Mayer (Billy Chadwick 63), James Scott, Tom Eaves (Mallik Wilks 36).
Subs Not Used: Matt Ingram, Jacob Greaves, Ahmed Salam, Jake Leake.
Crewe Alexandra: Dave Richards, Perry Ng, Eddie Nolan, Chris Porter, Charlie Kirk, Oliver Finney, Offrande Zanzala, Regan Griffiths, Rio Adebisi, Billy Sass-Davies, Travis Johnson.
Subs Not Used: Will Jaaskelainen, Harry Pickering, Tom Lowery, Mikael Mandron, Oliver Lancashire, Owen Dale, Luke Murphy.
Referee: Mr J. Bell.