Stoke City, who triumphed over Chelsea in the 1972 League Cup final, suffered a shock 3-1 defeat at Macclesfield. Steve Wood, who was working on a building site 12 months ago, opened the scoring after two minutes. Graham Kavanagh snatched a first-half equaliser for the Potteries club, but two goals from John Askey in the final quarter hour sealed a fine win for the home side.
Barnet recorded an equally meritorious success over the 1979 winners, Wolves, at Underhill. A Simon Osborn strike 13 minutes from time appeared to have saved the Molineux men after Barnet had taken a second-half lead through Scott McGleish, but Darren Currie grabbed a late winner as the match entered stoppage time.
Two former Liverpool strikers had mixed experiences as they made their entrances at the first stage of the competition. While Peter Beardsley's leveller helped Fulham record a 2-1 home victory over Cardiff City, Ian Rush failed in his attempt to beat Geoff Hurst's record number of goals in the competition.
The pair remain level on 49 goals after Rush's Wrexham team-mates were unable to capitalise on the first-half dismissal of Halifax's Steve Murphy at the Racecourse Ground. Geoff Horsfield had already opened the scoring for the Football League new boys, and an 81st-minute effort from Dave Hanson sealed a great 2-0 away win for the Shaymen.
Graham Taylor's Watford side were on the wrong end of a 1-0 defeat at the Abbey Stadium, where Trevor Benjamin rattled in a 19th-minute winner for Cambridge United.
Stockport County, beaten semi-finalists two seasons ago, had to come back from 2-0 down to force a draw with Hull City at Edgeley Park, while Huddersfield Town were twice behind to at home to Mansfield before eventually prevailing by the odd goal in five.
Ipswich Town and Queen's Park Rangers were both thankful to escape from a tricky away leg with a level scoresheet, drawing 1-1 and 0-0 at Exeter and Walsall respectively.
Birmingham City will go into their second leg against Millwall at the New Den feeling fairly secure on the back of a 2-0 victory, while Portsmouth and Manchester City bring two-goal cushions back with them from their respective trips to Plymouth Argyle and Notts County.
Bristol City were the night's top scorers, netting four without reply against Shrewsbury Town at Ashton Gate.