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Carabao Cup

Carabao Cup: Five things you may have missed from Round One

6 September 2020

The long road to Wembley continued this weekend, with Round One of the Carabao Cup taking centre stage.

It was a dramatic weekend of football, as six Sky Bet Championship sides were knocked out by lower league opposition and seven of Saturday’s 28 ties ending in penalty shootouts.
 
We round up five things you may have missed from the weekend’s action. 
 
1. Dream start for Harrogate Town 
 
The story of the round however, goes to Simon Weaver and his Harrogate Town side, who yesterday made their first-ever appearance in the League Cup.
 
Town faced Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park, and their first-ever fixture as an EFL club was a memorable one, ending with a dramatic penalty shootout which saw Harrogate advance.
 
After the game ended 1-1 in normal time, it was straight to penalties and it took 20 spot kicks to decide the shootout, with captain Josh Falkingham converting the winning penalty kick - Harrogate winning 8-7 overall.
 
Speaking to BBC Radio York after the game, manager Simon Weaver said: “The reaction to conceding spoke volumes of the spirit in the camp.
 
“I can’t speak highly enough for how the players have bridged the gap today. I’m very proud.”
 
2. Delight and despair in South Wales 
 
It was a disappointing day for both Cardiff and Swansea City, who bowed out of the Carabao Cup in Round One, both losing out to lower-league opposition in Northampton Town and Newport County.
 
Both sides reached last season’s Championship Play-Offs, but yesterday fell at the first hurdle of the competition.
 
There was South Wales delight for one side though, as Michal Flynn’s side ran out 2-0 winners over neighbours Swansea City, thanks to a Tristan Abrahams double.
 
3. Hat-trick heroes 
 
There were two hat-trick heroes in Saturday’s Round One action, with Luton Town’s James Collins and Reading’s Lucas Joao firing their sides to 3-1 victories over Norwich City and Colchester United respectively.
 
The Canaries were without 15 first-team players because of international call-ups, but Nathan Jones’ side took full advantage to advance to Round Two. It took until the 79th minute to make the breakthrough when Collins scored from the penalty spot, before two late close-range finishes from Collins completed the striker’s hat-trick, giving Luton the win. 
 
Collins has now scored nine goals in his last 13 home appearances and 10 goals in hist 15 career League Cup appearances, which have included two hat-tricks. 
 
Reading were without new manager Veljko Paunovic due to current UK government quarantine rules, and it was the visitors who initially took the lead. But Reading equalised in the first minute of first-half stoppage time, as Joao headed home.
 
He added his second in the 56th minute and competed hiss performance and victory for Reading with a third 15 minutes from time, to register his first career hat-trick. He has now scored six goals in hist last six League Cup appearances. 
 
4. Debut delight for Nouble 
 
Plymouth Argyle were another side that knocked out Championship opposition to reach Round Two of the competition, as they defeated Queens Park Rangers on home soil.
 
Ryan Manning gave the visitors the lead in the opening minute, before captain Joe Edwards levelled for the hosts, who were promoted from League Two last season. Goals from Danny Mayor and Osma Kakay made it two goals a piece, before debutant Frank Nouble volleyed in from Conor Grant’s cross with 12 minutes to go. 
 
Manager Ryan Lowe said after the game: “We don’t want to get too excited because it’s the first game of the season, but I’ve seen plenty of signs that mean I go home a happy manager.
 
“We went toe-to-toee with them, on the front foot against them and got some good goals."
 
5. Derby pushed to penalties by Barrow 
 
Derby County needed penalties to overcome League Two newcomers Barrow to reach Round Two of the competition, as David Dunn’s side battled hard against the Championship side in front of the Sky Sports cameras.  
 
Barrow were playing their first League Cup tie in 49 years, and - despite Derby dominating possession - Dunn’s side had the better opportunities in the first half with two one-on-one chances that they failed to convert. 
 
With the game goalless after 90 minutes, teenage striker Morgan Whittaker scored the winning penalty to give Philip Cocu’s side a 3-2 victory overall. 
 
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