Carling Cup review: Derby knocked out - FA & League Cups - Football - The Independent

Carling Cup review: Derby knocked out

Sheffield United manager Kevin Blackwell lamented his side's lacklustre display in front of goal as they suffered the humiliation of a first-round Carling Cup exit at home to Port Vale.

Two goals from striker Marc Richards, one greatly assisted by a howler from Blades goalkeeper Ian Bennett, either side of a Billy Sharp equaliser gave Vale the victory and Blackwell expressed concern at his side's showing.



"We've had enough chances to win by a cricket score," he said.



"But if you don't take them you are going to get punished, I don't care what level you play at. Once again (we have) missed opportunities and we have paid the price."



Blackwell was full of praise for young Vale goalkeeper Chris Martin after he produced a string of fine saves to keep United at bay.



"There were two or three world-class saves there, he can be very proud of himself, I thought he was superb," he added.



Last season's semi-finalists Derby were first-round casualties this season as they let a one-goal lead slip to lose 2-1 away to Rotherham, for whom Paul Warne and Kevin Ellison were on target.



Rams boss Nigel Clough said: "We didn't pass the ball around, but credit to Rotherham for the way they closed us down. We nicked the goal and were looking to get through to half-time, but we didn't."



Plymouth boss Paul Sturrock maintains his side's "comical" defending was responsible for their 2-1 defeat to League One side Gillingham.



Simeon Jackson - who netted a hat-trick against Swindon on Saturday - and Andy Barcham struck within three minutes before half-time to send the Gills through.



Luke Summerfield pulled one back early in the second half but Sturrock continued his record as having never won a League Cup match as Argyle boss in five attempts.



He said: "I must have the worst record of all managers in cup competitions, it's unbelievable.



"There were some basic errors out there and some of it was comical."



Ipswich managed to avoid the same fate as Sheffield United, Derby and Plymouth as they edged past Shrewsbury 4-2 on penalties after a 3-3 draw at the New Meadow.



Sixteen-year-old striker Connor Wickham caught the eye for the Tractor Boys with two goals and his manager Roy Keane said: "I don't know how far this boy can go. It's up to him but he has great potential. He works hard, but we will look after him. It's not good for him or the club to play him every week. Believe it or not he's still growing."



Elsewhere, Wayne Routledge fired a hat-trick as QPR hammered Exeter 5-0 while Preston thrashed Morecambe 5-1 at Deepdale.



Watford needed extra-time before seeing off Barnet 2-0 while 10-man Bristol City sneaked past Brentford 1-0.



Doncaster beat Notts County 1-0 at Meadow Lane and two goals inside the first 25 minutes helped West Brom to a win over Bury at Gigg Lane.



Grant Holt scored a hat-trick as Norwich responded to the nightmare of their 7-1 home defeat by Colchester on Saturday by claiming an emphatic 4-0 win at Yeovil.

The game was goalless at half-time but the Canaries, relegated from the Coca-Cola Championship last season, took the lead 10 minutes after half-time when Wes Hoolahan converted a penalty after Scott Murray fouled Cody McDonald.

Grant Holt doubled the lead with a header before two goals in eight minutes - the second from 25 yards - sealed the crushing victory.

Southampton, relegated alongside Norwich, moved into the second round following a 2-0 win over Northampton.

The Saints went ahead when Rickie Lambert scored his first goal for the club with a first-half header.

Adam Lallana then scored from close range in the 69th minute to seal victory.

Colchester could not replicate their form from the weekend and went out 2-1 at the first hurdle to Leyton Orient despite pulling back a last-minute goal.

The visitors got off to an ideal start when Adrian Patulea headed them ahead in the second minute with John Melligan doubling the lead in the 63rd minute.

The Us were reduced to 10 men when Clive Platt was dismissed for violent conduct following Ryan Jarvis' foul on Kemal Izzet.

The hosts scored from Simon Hackney's resulting free-kick but it was not enough.

Last season's losing play-off finalists Millwall had an emphatic 4-0 victory over League Two Bournemouth thanks to a hat-trick by Neil Harris following Gary Alexander's opener.

MK Dons were on the wrong end of a 4-1 home defeat by Swindon.

Jon-Paul McGovern put the visitors ahead with a 30-yard shot in the 41st minute before Jermaine Easter levelled with a penalty eight minutes after half time.

Billy Paynter restored the lead with the first of his two goals before David McCracken's headed own goal sealed a miserable night for the Dons.

A last-minute goal by Paul Mullin saw League Two Accrington Stanley topple Walsall 2-1, who had to play for 55 minutes with 10 men.

The League One side went ahead through Alex Nicholl's early right-footed shot but were then reduced to 10 men 10 minutes before half-time when Rhys Weston got his second yellow card.

Robert Grant (53) levelled before Mullins' late intervention.

A goal two minutes from time gave Southend a 2-1 win at Cheltenham.

Elvis Hammond gave the hosts the lead on the stroke of half time before Lee Barnard equalised with 13 minutes left and the same player headed the Shrimpers to a late victory.

A last-minute header from Scott Dobie earned Carlisle a win over Oldham, Darryl Duffy scored twice - and missed a penalty - as Bristol Rovers beat Aldershot 2-1 and Huddersfield beat Stockport 3-1 thanks to a Jordan Rhodes double and a Theo Robinson strike.

Andy Gray missed a penalty as Charlton went down 1-0 to Hereford.

The Addicks, who were relegated with Norwich and Southampton last season, had the chance to take the lead with the match an hour old but Gary's powerful penalty was saved by Adam Bartlett.

The match was goalless after 90 minutes and eight minutes into extra-time it was the League Two side who went ahead through Jonny Godsmark's close-range shot.

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