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Carabao Cup

2020/21 Carabao Cup campaign begins

2 September 2020

The 2020/21 Carabao Cup campaign got underway in style at the weekend as eight sides began their season with cup football in Round One of the competition.

Stevenage 3-3 Portsmouth  
(Portsmouth win 3-1 on penalties)
League One side Portsmouth survived a scare to see off League Two side Stevenage 3-1 on penalties, following a six-goal thriller. 
Kenny Jackett’s side looked as though they may fall at the first hurdle, as they went two goals down inside the opening ten minutes, but Ronan Curtis, Gareth Evans and John Marquis were all on target to complete the comeback for Pompey. 
Craig MacGillivray was the hero in the shootout, saving three Stevenage spot-kicks after Pompey fought back from 2-0 down and 3-1 down in normal time. 
Preston North End 4-0 Mansfield Town 
Championship Play-Off hopefuls Preston North End took no pity on League Two Mansfield Town in the opening round of the Carabao Cup, as they cruised into Round Two with an emphatic 4-0 victory at Deepdale. 
Goals from Tom Barkhuizen, Sean Maguire, Patrick Bauer and Josh Harrop saw North End sail past Mansfield, as Alex Neil’s side proved too strong for the visitors. 
Blackburn Rovers 3-2 Doncaster Rovers 
Blackburn were another team to survive a scare from lower-league opposition as they scraped past Doncaster Rovers to secure a place in Round Two, thanks to a late Adam Armstrong penalty. 
It was an entertaining affair that could have gone either way, with the Lancashire side taking the lead in the first half, with an impressive free-kick. 
Despite it being Doncaster’s first competitive fixture for almost six months, they came from behind to turn the game on its head as Fejiri Okenabirhie and Madger Gommes each struck in the space of ten minutes.  
Joe Rankin-Costello’s first senior goal levelled things up for Blackburn, before Arsmtrong’s late penalty was enough to see Tony Mowbray’s side through to Round Two. 
Stoke City 0-0 Blackpool
(Stoke win 5-4 on penalties)
Goalkeeper Adam Davies was the Stoke City hero as the Championship side beat Blackpool 5-4 on penalties, following a 0-0 draw in normal time. 
Blackpool will feel hard done by having had two efforts cleared off the line in the first half, and a string of Adam Davies saves kept the Tangerines at bay. 
With neither side able to find the breakthrough, the contest went to penalties and, following two saves from Davies and two missed attempts from James McClean and Jordan Thompson, the shootout went to sudden death. 
Eventually, it was Ollie Turton who dragged his penalty wide for Blackpool, confirming the Potters’ place in Round Two. 
The long road to Wembley continues this weekend, with the rest of the Round One action taking place. 

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