With the Papa Johns Trophy now underway, the Group Stage is starting to take shape.
We take a look at some of the highlights from the competition so far...
Vale starlet makes history
Last week, Jack Shorrock became the youngest-ever player to feature for Port Vale. At 15 years and 145 days old, the youngster made his debut in an emphatic 4-0 showing over Shrewsbury Town, now sitting top of Northern Group C.
Stockport-born Shorrock linked up with the Valiants’ Under-16s last season following a successful trial period, having spent time with Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers during the early stages of his career.
The left-sided player, who has turned out for the Under-18s this year, took the place of David Worrall in the 75th minute Montgomery Waters Meadow, taking the mantle from Nelson Agho who made his bow for Vale in November 2018.
Winnall nets milestone
Burton Albion striker Sam Winnall notched his 100th senior career goal against ex-employers Sheffield Wednesday, as the Brewers edged their opponents in 3-2 in a thrilling encounter in Northern Group H.
The former Owls man opened the scoring for the visitors at Hillsborough in the eighth minute, marking his first goal for the Club since making the move from Oxford United in the summer.
Sam Winnall scored his 1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣th senior goal against his former team for @burtonalbionfc! #EFL | #PapaJohnsTrophy pic.twitter.com/0mnLjMrGV9— Papa Johns Trophy (@PapaJohnsTrophy) September 27, 2022
Crowds flock to Group Stage games
The Owls took the biggest-ever away following to an EFL Trophy game against Bradford City, with an overall record crowd at the University of Bradford Stadium of 6,092, with 3,355 Owls fans making the trip from South Yorkshire.
Attendances were the highest seen in the opening round of games since the competition was reformatted in the 2016/17 season.
Two further fixtures pulled in crowds of over 5,000. In Northern Group F, Derby County's 3-1 victory over Grimsby Town was watched on by 5,348 supporters, and in Southern Group H, Ipswich Town and Northampton Town registered an attendance of 5,342 as the Tractor Boys ran out 6-0 winners.
Spectacular scoring streaks
Since the start of the campaign, Leyton Orient’s Tom James has proved he only scores screamers, with two stunning strikes in the league and this effort from a set-piece in the O’s triumph over Sutton United in Southern Group G.
The defender capped off a 3-1 win for Orient with this free-kick in the 91st minute on home soil…
Tom James only scores 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙨𝙚 types of goals for @leytonorientfc! 👏 #EFL | #PapaJohnsTrophy pic.twitter.com/bKrHllEvoI— Papa Johns Trophy (@PapaJohnsTrophy) September 21, 2022
Ones to watch
The Group Stage have given some of the competition’s up and coming starlets a chance to shine.
Teenage duo Will Jenkins-Davies and Oscar Halls both made the scoresheet for Plymouth Argyle in a 3-1 win away at Swindon Town. Elsewhere, Nathan Butler-Oyedeji bagged a brace for Arsenal Under-21s as the Gunners beat Cambridge United 2-0. Southampton loanee Kgaogelo Chauke found the back of the net for Exeter City against Newport County.
And ex-Paris Saint-Germain youth product Ziyad Larkeche scored for Barnsley in a 2-0 win over Newcastle United Under-21s.