Amidst the deluge gold medals adoring the necks of a triumphant Team GB the newly titled Capital One Cup brought the beautiful game back to the fore kicking off the season in enthralling fashion as 28 teams battled it out for a place in round two. From the 14 ties on offer five were decided by the penalty shootout lottery, three were settled in extra time and, in keeping with the London Games, a few giant killing’s thrown in for good measure.
Championship favourites Blackpool were surprisingly dumped out by neighbours Morecambe at Bloomfield Road on Sunday despite Ian Holloway field a near full strength side. Goals from Lewis Alessandra and Andrew Fleming put the League Two side in control just before the hour mark and they held on to seal a priceless victory even after Matt Phillips scored for the home side with 13 minutes remaining.
The same fate almost befell rivals Wolves as they narrowly squeezed past Aldershot on penalties in Stale Solbakken’s first game in charge since taking over from Terry Connor earlier in the summer. Solbakken has endured a tough start to life in the West Midlands with two of his star players seeking moves away and he had goalkeeper Carl Ikeme to thank for sparing his blushes after saving Jordan Roberts’ spot kick to send Wanderers through.
Middlesbrough also found it tough against lower league opposition just managing to see off League One Bury at Gigg Lane thanks to strikes from Marvin Emnes and new signing Grant Leadbitter. Crewe recorded the biggest win of the round putting five past Hartlepool without reply at Gresty Road to set a new club record of 20 games without defeat.
Capital One Cup First Round – Results
Bury 1-2 Middlesbrough
Carlisle 1-0 Accrington
Cheltenham 1-1 MK Dons (3-5 on penalties)
Crewe 5-0 Hartlepool
Doncaster 1-1 York (4-2 on penalties)
Hull 1-1 Rotherham ( 7-6 on penalties)
Leeds United 4-0 Shrewsbury
Notts County 0-1 Bradford (AET)
Rochdale 3-4 Barnsley (AET)
Sheff Utd 2-2 Burton Albion (4-5 on penalties)
Walsall 1-0 Brentford
Watford 1-0 Wycombe (AET)
Wolves 1-1 Aldershot (7-6 on penalties)
Blackpool 1-2 Morecambe