EFL Cup ¦ (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Football | EFL Cup 23/24 | First Round | Roundup

By Robert Wheeler

  • Wrexham defeat Wigan on penalties
  • Gillingham thrash Southampton 3-1
  • AFC Wimbledon defeat Coventry City
UK – There were plenty of upsets in the EFL Cup this week with Wrecham defeating Wigan on penalties, Gillingham thrashing Southampton and Wimbledon defeating Coventry City.


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Hollywood ending for Wrexham

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It is a great time to be a Wrexham fan right now. Under the ownership of Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, the club are embarking on their first season back in the Football League and they have already stamped their mark on the EFL Cup by defeating Wigan Athletic. 

Wigan may not be the Premier League side they once were, as they have now dropped to League One. However, they are still a big club that won the FA Cup as recently as 2013.

It was a stalemate at the Racecourse Ground which finished 0-0 after 90 minutes and went straight to penalties. Charlie Hughes and Thelo Aasgaard both missed the target for Wigan, which handed a famous victory to the Red Dragons. They face Bradford City at home in their next EFL Cup game. The match will see Welsh legend Mark Hughes -who is now Bradford’s manager- return to Wrexham.

Wrexham lost their opening League Two game last weekend 5-3 to MK Dons. Now Phil Parkinson‘s side can take a lot from their win in the cup back into league action this Saturday as they play AFC Wimbledon.


Gillingham stun Southampton

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Southampton’s fortunes have taken a turn for the worse recently. They were relegated from the Premier League last season and have now been dumped out of the EFL Cup at the hands of League Two side Gillingham.

Ashley Nadesan slid in to convert a cross from Dom Jefferies early on to give the Gills the lead. Their advantage doubled after half-time when Robbie McKenzie bundled the ball in.

McKenzie then volleyed in from outside the box to make it three for Neil Harris‘ side. Southampton got one back through Carlos Alcaraz, although it was to be just a consolation goal. Next up for Gills in the cup is a trip to Premier League side Luton Town.

It is an early shock for Russell Martin‘s side but they have a long season ahead. They host Norwich City this weekend in the Championship where they could make it two wins from two in the division.


Wimbledon defeat Coventry

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Coventry City came agonisingly close to being promoted to the Premier League last season. The Sky Blues lost to Luton Town in the play-off final on penalties. They have strengthened their side in an attempt to go one better in the upcoming campaign. However, they are now out of the EFL Cup, after losing to League Two side AFC Wimbledon.

It looked like Coventry was going to cruise to a victory after Matthew Godden slotted in his penalty to give them a first-half lead. However, Omar Bugiel smashed in an equaliser in the 86th minute. It got even better for Wimbledon when Ryan McLean volleyed in a 92nd-minute winner.

Wimbledon’s reward for their victory is a trip to Stamford Bridge, where Johnnie Jackson‘s side will be looking to make an even bigger shock.

As for Coventry, they return to Championship action this weekend as they host Middlesbrough. Mark Robins‘ side lost to Leicester City in their opening league game and they now face another difficult fixture.

The EFL Cup returns on August 29th with Fulham playing Tottenham Hotspur in an all-Premier League tie.