Goals from Layvin Kurzawa and Dan James guided Fulham into the fourth round of the FA Cup as Marco Silva’s men overcame a battling Hull City side this afternoon. The Whites took a while to establish themselves on the contest, with the Championship outfit spurning several early chances, but Kurzawa’s first goal for the club and a late second from James, who took advantage of the hosts throwing numbers forward in search of a late leveller, ensured the Londoners’ were never too worried about being on the wrong end of a giantkilling.

Fulham almost paid the penalty for a slip-up by stand in right back Bobby Decordova-Reid in the second minute. Decordova-Reid failed to deal with a hopeful ball forward and suddenly Harvey Vale was in behind the defence, but he dragged his shot well wide. Marek Rodak, who took his chance to impress Silva, then did well to push away a drive from Lewis Coyle. The Whites gradually began to pass the ball around fluently, with captain Tom Cairney to the fore, but the Hull defence dealt with low deliveries from Decordova-Reid and Harry Wilson.

Greg Docherty drove in a pair of powerful shots at the other end: the first was bravely blocked at some cost by Tosin Adarabioyo, before he spooned another effort over the bar. Fulham’s most fluent move then delivered their best spell of the game so far. James pinched the ball back high up the field and found Carlos Vinicius, who held the ball up well, and cushioned a pass into the path of Andreas Pereira, whose rising drive was tipped over by Matt Ingram.

Pereira then went closer when he ghosted into space around the penalty spot after excellent approach play from James and Cairney, firing fractionally wide on the half volley. Fulham were finding much more space in front of the Hull defence and it took just four minutes for the visitors to hit the front. Harry Wilson found room on the right angle of the area and bent a shot towards the top corner. Ingram did well to push that out, but Kurwaza was on hand to tuck home his first goal for the Whites from six yards.

Cairney, keen to put on a show against one of his former employers, danced down the left to get the Whites moving forward early in the second half. The Fulham captain kept on running and drilled a shot just over the crossbar from outside the area. He then whipped in a lovely ball from a short corner but Decordova-Reid couldn’t keep his header on target. Silva sent on Kenny Tete and Joao Palhinha with a quarter of an hour to play to shore up Fulham’s slender lead, but the changes seemed to spur on the hosts.

After James had seen a shot brilliantly saved by Ingram, Hull rather laid siege to the Fulham goal. Rodak repelled a header from substitute Aaron Connolly miraculously and wouldn’t have been aware of the offside flag that used the visiting fans’ nerves. The Slovakian stopper then extended himself to superbly tip over a header from Oscar Estupinan, before Hull paid the penalty for keeping Ingram in the Fulham box.

A home corner broke down and the Whites surged forward. James dribbled the ball into the Hull penalty area himself after racing clear of the remnants of the home defence and fired home the critical second goal.

HULL CITY (4-4-2): Ingram, Coyle, Elder, McLaughlin, Figueiredo; Woods, Simons (Estupiñán 72), Vale (Connolly 61), Docherty (C. Jones 83); Smith (Tetteh 72), Tufan (Slater 61). Subs (not used): Lo-Tutala, Christie, A. Jones, Greaves.

BOOKED: Elder.

FULHAM (4-2-3-1): Rodak; Decordova-Reid (Tete 72), Kurzawa (A. Robinson 76), Adarabioyo, Diop; Reed (Chalobah 87), Cairney; Wilson (Solomon 76), James, Pereira (Palhinha 72); Vinicius. Subs (not used): Leno, Ream, Harris, McFarlane.


GOALS: Kurzawa (37), James (90+4).

REFEREE: Josh Smith (Cambridgeshire).