There was further Irish involvement in the EFL Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening. Summer signing from Burnley, Jimmy Dunne started in central defence for QPR who took on League Two Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road. The hosts included their summer signing from Ipswich Town, striker Aaron Drinan and he scored the second half equaliser which sent the contest to a penalty shoot-out which the visiting side won 5-3. Drinan did convert his penalty kick. Burton Albion also included their summer signings, Thomas O’Connor and Conor Shaughnessy in their side for the visit of Oxford United for whom Mark Sykes started in central midfield with Anthony Forde deployed at right back. The contest ended in a one all draw with ‘The Students’ winning the penalty shoot-out 4-2. Both Sykes and Forde converted their penalties as did Shaughnessy for the hosts but O’Connor missed from the spot.
Our senior international manager Stephen Kenny is likely to have been disappointed by the scarcity of senior international Irish players involved in the first round of the EFL Cup on Tuesday evening. While Greg Cunningham and Sean Maguire started for Preston North End in their three nil success at Mansfield Town, Alan Browne was not included in the matchday squad. Defender Darragh Lenihan, who has featured little under Kenny, captained Blackburn Rovers who suffered a shock two one defeat by Morecambe at Ewood Park. Winger Chiedoze Ogbenne was a half time substitute for Rotherham United who went down to a two one defeat by visitors Accrington Stanley. U21 striker Joshua Kayode started for Rotherham alongside Kieran Sadlier who scored their goal. James Collins was an 86th minute substitute for Cardiff City who defeated visitors Sutton United by three goals to two. Millwall defeated Portsmouth by two goals to one at the New Den where Ronan Curtis was in action with the visitors while loanee goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu was again unused on the substitute bench as also was Marcus Harness. U21 striker Anthony Scully was in action with Lincoln City who exited the competition in a 4-2 penalty shoot-out defeat following a two all draw at Shrewsbury Town. Scully did convert his shoot-out penalty. Ryan Manning was a 65th minute substitute for Swansea City who defeated their hosts Reading by three goals to nil. Daryl Horgan was a half-time substitute for Wycombe Wanderers and scored his penalty in their 4-3 shoot-out success at Exeter City.
Our U21 Head Coach Jim Crawford will have been pleased to see Festy Ebosele and Louie Watson make their first competitive starts for Derby County who twice came from behind against visitors Salford City to earn a three all draw before progressing in the penalty shoot-out on a five four scoreline with Watson converting the winning spot kick. Will Ferry, another of our U21 contingent, on a season long loan at Crawley Town from Southampton, was in action tonight as they exited the competition in a penalty shoot-out following a two all draw.