The first round of the newly-branded Carabao Cup competition has been getting underway in the last few days with 92 teams seeking a place in the second phase of the competition. Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United were crowned champions in this competition last year, but Premier League teams competing in Europe will not enter the draw until the third round.
However, every other top flight team will be in the draw for the second round meaning there was still the potential for some of the lower league sides to win a ‘money-spinning’ tie this week.
There is just one match remaining in the first round with Bury set to take on Simon Grayson’s Sunderland side on Thursday night. The tie between Grimsby Town and Derby County has also been rescheduled after the match was abandoned on Tuesday evening.
We take a look at some of the highlights from the first round of matches so far.
Result of the round
The most impressive result of the round came at The Crown Ground as Accrington Stanley of League Two knocked out Championship opposition in the form of Preston North End with a dramatic 3-2 victory. Alex Neil named a strong line-up for the away side including the likes of Callum Robinson and Jordan Hugill but it was not enough to prevent an upset.
Stanley took the lead twice in the match courtesy of goals from Ben Richards-Everton and then Jordan Clark. However, Hugill continued him fine start to the season by equalising twice for Neil’s side. Despite this, Stanley did not let Preston’s resilience upset their momentum and they won the match in injury time through Billy Kee to secure a historic victory.
How did the tournament ‘new boys’ get on?
Both Lincoln City and Forest Green Rovers won promotion back to the Football League last season and were therefore both included in the draw for this competition. Lincoln had not featured in this competition for over six years and lost 4-0 to Leeds United at Elland Road on that occasion. As for Rovers, they had never featured in this competition before in their history.
Unfortunately for them, they were both knocked out in the first round of the competition this week. Lincoln produced a brave performance against League One side Rotherham United at The New York Stadium but ultimately fell to a 2-1 defeat late on. In comparison, Rovers managed to take their tie to extra-time against Milton Keynes Dons but a stunning strike from Nottingham Forest loanee Gboly Ariyibi saw the Dons progress to the next round.
The games of the round
Barnsley 4-3 Morecambe:
Jim Bentley’s Morecambe side competed remarkably well against Barnsley at Oakwell on Tuesday evening. They looked to have forced extra-time when Vadaine Oliver equalised with ten minutes remaining but an injury-time goal from substitute Ryan Hedges saw The Championship side progress to the next round.
Oxford United 3-4 Cheltenham Town:
Gary Johnson’s Cheltenham side without doubt won the competition for the ‘comeback’ of the first round as they came back from 3-1 down away to Oxford United to progress to the next round despite them being a division above. A brace from Mo Eisa and Danny Wright was enough for Johnson’s side to stun the home crowd.
Scunthorpe United 3-3 Notts County AET – Scunthorpe win 6-5 on penalties:
Remarkably, this first round tie at Glanford Park was the only one to be taken all the way to penalties. This was mainly due to County’s refusal to give up in a match where they fell behind several times. Shaun Brisley forced extra-time with an injury-time goal before Ryan Yates sent the match to a penalty shootout with a late goal in extra-time. However, despite their efforts, Scunthorpe progressed to the next round by winning a high quality shootout by a 6-5 scoreline.