The Tigers had earlier come from two goals down, Josh Magennis netting from the spot before Jarrod Bowen bagged an equaliser five minutes into added time to send the tie to spot-kicks. Tom Eaves’ miss from 12 yards proved crucial, with the home side perfect with their own efforts to edge their way through.
A side that showed nine changes to the one that began against Bristol City last weekend took to the field, with only Brandon Fleming and Leonardo Da Silva Lopes remaining in the starting eleven. Nouha Dicko, Magennis and Josh Bowler formed an attacking three, while Daniel Batty, Jon Toral and Leonardo Da Silva Lopes made up a midfield trio. Batty also wore the captain’s armband.
Fleming and Robbie McKenzie were employed in the full-back slots, with Matthew Pennington and Ryan Tafazolli the central barrier in front of goalkeeper Matt Ingram.
Bowler won his side a free kick inside the opening minute when he was brought down on the right edge of the Preston box but a dangerous delivery was cleared by the Preston defence, before Magennis and Toral combined to set up a chance for Bowler inside the box but a low shot only found the side-netting.
Batty then turned defence into attack to find Dicko who produced a good first touch on the halfway line to take him racing deep into Preston territory but Tom Bayliss got back to deny the striker a clear run on goal.
Despite that early promise, it was Preston that took the lead in the 20th minute. A free kick was delivered long into the Tigers’ box and Paul Huntington got up the highest to direct a header just inside Ingram’s left-hand post.
The home side’s lead was doubled six minutes later as the Tigers lost possession on halfway. Preston broke forward and despite Ingram making a good save to keep out Tom Barkhuizen’s low drive, Josh Harrop followed up to knock in the rebound.
Preston were attacking with confidence, but the Tigers were offered a route back into the game when Da Silva was brought down inside the area 11 minutes before the break. Magennis stepped up to take the penalty and sent Connor Ripley the wrong way to find the corner of the net.
McCann made a change shortly after as Kevin Stewart came on for Fleming at left back and he had barely taken up his position when Preston threatened to restore their two-goal advantage through Barkhuizen who saw a powerful drive beaten away by Ingram.
Ingram also made a save from Josh Ginnelly in added time to ensure that his side only trailed by the one goal heading into the break.
Brad Potts had a chance early in the second half as Preston again broke forward at pace, but a shot was fired high over Ingram’s bar from a decent position, while for the Tigers Stewart’s through ball was just too strong for Toral.
Dicko’s low shot from just inside the box tested Ripley before Stewart blasted inches over from 25 yards.
Sensing an equaliser might not be too far away, McCann threw Bowen into the action just after the hour with Bowler making way, and one of Bowen’s first touches brought a shot that was deflected wide. The resulting corner brought problems, but ended with Toral blasting a volley off target.
Toral was denied by the legs of Ripley as the Tigers continued to dominate the second period, although they did lose Batty to a knock with Eaves his replacement with 12 minutes remaining.
Dicko and Toral both had the opportunity to level the scores but were denied by Ripley and as the chase continued there was a let-off as Preston had an effort ruled out for offside.
McCann’s men continued to give it everything and got a deserved reward in the last of five minutes of added time. Stewart’s ball into the box was nodded back across by Pennington and Bowen was there to bundle it over the line and force a penalty shoot-out.
PENALTY SHOOT-OUT (Hull City take the first penalty)
1-0 – Magennis picks out the same part of the net as earlier
1-1 – Ingram goes the right way but Josh Harrop finds the bottom corner
1-1 – Eaves sees his spot kick saved by Ripley
1-2 – Ledson puts the home side ahead as he sends Ingram the wrong way
2-2 – Toral keeps the Tigers in contention with a cool spot kick
2-3 – Jayden Stockley finds the net for PNE
3-3 – Da Silva is on target for the Tigers
3-4 – Billy Bodin goes straight down the middle
4-4 – Stewart has to score and he does with a nicely taken spot kick
4-5 – Alan Browne sends his side through to the next round.
Preston North End: Connor Ripley, Tom Bayliss, Alan Browne, Josh Harrop, Jordan Storey, Josh Ginnelly (Joe Rafferty 79), Ryan Ledson, Andre Green (Billy Bodin 68), Paul Huntington, Tom Barkhuizen (Jayden Stockley 46), Brad Potts.
Subs Not Used: Michael Crowe, Jack Baxter, Adam O’Reilly, Ethan Walker.
Hull City: Matt Ingram; Robbie McKenzie, Matthew Pennington, Ryan Tafazolli, Brandon Fleming (Kevin Stewart 37); Daniel Batty © (Tom Eaves 78), Leonardo Da Silva Lopes, Jon Toral, Josh Bowler (Jarrod Bowen 61), Josh Magennis, Nouha Dicko.
Subs Not Used: George Long, Jordy de Wijs, Reece Burke, Keane Lewis-Potter.
Referee: Mr D. Webb.