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Carabao Cup first-round round-up: Stevenage and Bradford upset Championship sides

Stevenage produced one of the shocks of the Carabao Cup first round as they beat Championship side Reading 2-1 thanks to a late winner from Danny Rose.

Stevenage dominated a scrappy first half, going ahead early on when 19-year-old loanee Saxon Earley scored from inside the home area. Reading levelled in the 63rd minute through Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan’s first goal for the club but Rose pounced one minute from time to send the Hertfordshire side through.

Bradford were another League Two side who also knocked out Championship opposition in the shape of Hull, winning 2-1 at Valley Parade.

Andy Cook scored both goals for Mark Hughes’s men, who came from behind to record their first home win in the competition for eight years.

Shota Arveladze made seven changes to his Hull side but they still went in front on 24 minutes. Randell Williams set up Ozan Tufan for a fierce drive that Harry Lewis tipped on to the bar – but the ball rebounded off the Bradford keeper and into the net for an unfortunate own goal. But the home team turned the game on its head with two goals in a five-minute spell before half-time.

League One Morecambe also progressed via a surprise result, beating Championship side Stoke 5-3 on penalties after the game at the Mazuma Stadium finished 0-0 after 90 minutes.

The victory was all the more memorable for Morecambe side as they were forced to play the final 28 minutes of the game with 10 men after midfielder Jensen Weir was harshly sent off for two yellow cards in quick succession.

Shane McLoughlin sealed the shootout win with Dylan Connolly, Jonathan Obika, Caleb Watts and Donald Love all scoring. Morgan Fox was the Stoke player who failed to hit the target.

Swansea boss Russell Martin was fuming after his Championship side squandered a two-goal lead at half-time and lost 5-3 on penalties against League One side Oxford at the Kassam Stadium.

Jay Fulton and Liam Cullen put the Swans two up in 25 minutes and they had other good opportunities before an error from keeper Steven Benda on 72 minutes gave Oxford hope. His casual clearance was charged down by Alex Gorrin, the ball ricocheting into the goal.

Then, substitute Cameron Brannagan fired home a stoppage-time equaliser from a free-kick that deflected off the wall.

It was Brannagan who smashed home Oxford’s winning spot-kick after debutant goalkeeper Eddie McGinty made up for his own error earlier in the match – handling outside his box which led to Swansea’s opener – by saving Matty Sorinola’s penalty in the shoot-out.

Oxford United's Cameron Brannagan scores the winning penalty in the shootout against Swansea
Oxford United’s Cameron Brannagan scores the winning penalty in the shootout against Swansea Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA

Martin said: “It was sink or swim time for some of the players and unfortunately a few of them sank. I’m really angry and frustrated. We should have been out of sight. I am angry, and the boys should be angry.

Another League One team, Portsmouth, produced a clinical second-half display to produce a shock win at Championship side Cardiff City and progress to the second round. Despite almost total control of possession, Cardiff created few chances in a goalless first half. Joe Piggott then seized on a Curtis Nelson mistake to fire Pompey in front.

Nelson then fouled Michael Morrison at a corner to concede a penalty, which Ronan Curtis converted emphatically before Colby Bishop headed in a third. To make matters worse for Cardiff, debutant Vontae Campbell was shown a red card in the 90th minute and the home side were booed off by their fans at the final whistle.

League One Charlton claimed a Championship scalp by beating QPR at The Valley and the Addicks’ manager, Ben Garner, had praise for Aaron Henry after their 5-3 penalty shootout victory.

The 18-year old academy midfielder equalised late on to send the tie to penalties, cancelling out a brilliant strike from Tyler Roberts with 10 minutes remaining.

Addicks goalkeeper Joe Wollacott made the crucial save against Stefan Johansen – the first spot-kick of the night – to send Charlton through. Garner said: “To see young Aaron put that strike in was a great moment, and to then follow that up and win on penalties was a great night.

“He’s a great technician and even his composure to take a penalty. For a young player he is very mature and level-headed. We need to keep developing him.”

Tranmere, second from bottom of League Two, had something to cheer them up as they beat high-flying Accrington – sixth in League One – in an epic penalty shootout. Rovers eventually prevailed 12-11 at the Wham Stadium having made it 2-2 in the third minute of stoppage time through Ryan Astley.

Rovers were 2-0 down after 39 minutes but pulled one back through Josh Hawkes after 62 minutes before Astley forced the shootout.

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