A total of 110 goals thrilled more than 177,000 fans in this week’s Capital One Cup First Round at an average of more than three goals per matchWith the new season swinging into cup action for the first time, thousands of young fans took advantage of tickets priced at £1 at every single match, delivering an extra boost to opening round attendances even though the likes of Derby County, Cardiff City, Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough were all drawn away from home.
Young bargain-hunters were particularly well rewarded at Dagenham & Redbridge to watch the 12-goal thriller with London rivals Brentford. For young fans taking advantage of the ticket offer, it meant paying 8p per goal with a free penalty shoot-out thrown in for good measure. The goals total equalled the all-time record for the competition set in 2012 when Arsenal ran out 7-5 winners at Reading in the Fourth Round.
It was a similar story at both Chesterfield’s Proact Stadium and Port Vale’s Vale Park. Young fans paid just 13p per goal to watch eight-goal games as Huddersfield Town progressed to the Second Round at the Spireites expense following a 5-3 victory after extra-time and Vale triumphed 6-2 against Hartlepool United.
The Football League’s Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey, said: “It has been a thrilling start to this season’s competition and one that has given thousands of young fans the chance to experience midweek cup football for the very first time. Given some of the exciting matches we’ve seen this week, I’m sure many will be back for more.”
The entertainment looks set to continue into the Second Round with Manchester United joining the fray at this stage for the first time since 1995. The four-time winners face a trip to Milton Keynes Dons. There will also be Yorkshire and West London derbies with Bradford City hosting Leeds United and Championship newcomers Brentford and Fulham meeting at Griffin Park - the first time the clubs have met in 17 seasons.