Late goals from James Scott and Callum Jones earned Hull City victory over Harrogate in the Papa John’s Trophy.
The Tigers created a plethora of chances but it wasn’t until 15 minutes from time they finally made the breakthrough as substitute Scott converted the impressive Martin Samuelsen’s cross.
Captain-for-the-night Callum Jones made sure of the win with five minutes remaining when he won and converted a penalty after being upended by Tom Walker.
It could have been more but for an impressive goalkeeping display from former Hull City youngster Joe Cracknell, who earlier made fine saves to deny both goalscorers and Tom Eaves.
The result moved Grant McCann's men up to third in Northern Group E heading into their final group fixture against Grimsby next Tuesday.
Grant McCann made 10 changes from the FA Cup victory over Fleetwood, with Alfie Jones the only man to keep his place.
The Tigers needed a win to keep their hopes of reaching the knockout stages alive and started with plenty of attacking intent.
Inside two minutes, Hakeeb Adelakun received possession from Thomas Mayer and drove forward purposefully before hitting a 25-yard shot which looped wide via a deflection.
Mayer was heavily involved in the early exchanges, trading passes neatly with Samuelsen before firing off target.
The Austrian then released Dan Batty down the right whose inviting cross was headed over by Eaves.
The visitors had the ball in the net on 12 minutes when Brandon Fleming’s shot deflected through for Eaves to finish smartly over Cracknell – but from an offside position.
The best chance of the half fell to the former Gillingham forward when he took down Batty’s diagonal pass and went through one-on-one but Cracknell blocked well with his legs.
Plenty of opportunities were coming Hull City’s way – but the finishing was wasteful.
Samuelsen fired off target from distance and headed over from a corner, while Fleming couldn’t keep his 25-yard free-kick down.
A defensive mistake almost led to the opening goal seven minutes before the break as Warren Burrell failed to clear Callum Jones’ deep cross, with Adelakun’s stabbed effort parried by Cracknell.
The Tigers were banging on the Harrogate door and went closer still when Fleming rode a challenge before drilling a left-footed effort against the foot of the post.
Another presentable opening went begging as Adelakun lifted a first-time lob wide from Regan Slater’s precise searching pass.
Hull City had a rare moment of concern on the stroke of half-time as Harrogate worked the ball to Brandon Kiernan on the edge of the box but he shanked well wide.
Town made a bright start to the second half but Aaron Martin couldn’t get enough purchase on his close-range header to truly test visiting custodian Matt Ingram.
The deadlock should have been broken five minutes into the second half when Samuelsen slipped in Eaves but, off-balance, the forward fired wide of the near post.
Scott replaced Mayer just before the hour mark and should have found the scoresheet within three minutes.
Pouncing on hesitancy by Kevin Lokko, Scott raced through the middle and tried to round Cracknell but the keeper saved smartly at the forward’s feet.
Cracknell was having an inspired evening and produced an acrobatic stop to parry away Callum Jones’ rasping 25-yard half-volley.
The home keeper was finally beaten with 15 minutes remaining after good work from Samuelsen, whose left-footed cross was volleyed in by Scott from close range.
Harrogate responded strongly and could have levelled when Kiernan blazed over after a corner wasn’t cleared before Jon Stead sent a header into the arms of Ingram.
But the match was put to bed with five minutes remaining when Tom Walker brought down Callum Jones, who stepped up to confidently send Cracknell the wrong way with the resulting penalty.
The hosts could have pulled one back in added time but Alfie Jones made a fine block to deny Jake Lawlor and keep the Tigers' clean sheet intact.
Harrogate Town: Joe Cracknell, Dan Jones, Warren Burrell ©, Mark Beck (George Thomson 58’), Aaron Martin (Jon Stead 78’), Jake Lawlor, Brendan Kiernan, Connor Kirby, Lloyd Kerry, Tom Walker, Kevin Lokko.
Subs: James Belshaw, Josh Falkingham, Jack Muldoon, Calvin Miller, Connor Hall.
Hull City:Matt Ingram; Callum Jones ©, Alfie Jones, Sean McLoughlin, Brandon Fleming; Dan Batty, Regan Slater, Martin Samuelsen; Thomas Mayer (James Scott 58’), Tom Eaves (Billy Chadwick 70’), Hakeeb Adelakun (Ahmed Salam 78’).
Subs: David Robson, Festus Arthur, Matty Jacob, Jordan Hickey.