Accrington, Fulham claim EPL scalps
ACCRINGTON STANLEY 1
(Matt Pearson 120)
- After extra time
Burnley suffered an embarrassing English Football League Cup exit against fourth-tier Accrington Stanley, while Fulham also claimed an English Premier League scalp with their second-round win over Middlesbrough yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Sean Dyche's Burnley had enjoyed a surprise 2-0 win over Liverpool in the EPL on Saturday, but they were brought down to earth in a 1-0 loss against their unheralded Lancashire neighbours.
Accrington are currently 18th in League Two, but they proved stubborn opposition for Burnley and claimed a memorable victory when Matt Pearson swept home after a goalmouth scramble in the last minute of extra time at the Wham Stadium.
"The performance was decent enough, but we didn't take the chances we created," Dyche said.
"Accrington take credit of course but we had a strong enough side out to win that."
The Clarets have now lost at this stage for three years running, but would have averted a shock result - and claimed bragging rights - this time had substitute Andre Gray finished a fine chance at the end of 90 minutes.
John Coleman's team weren't the only giantkillers of the evening as second-tier promotion chasers Fulham advanced to the third round with an impressive 2-1 win against Middlesbrough at Craven Cottage.
David Nugent glanced Middlesbrough into the lead with an eighth-minute header, but an own goal from Belgian midfielder Julien de Sart, deflecting in Scott Malone's shot, gave Fulham an equaliser in the 54th minute.
Middlesbrough were unbeaten in their first two EPL matches following last season's promotion, yet Aitor Karanka's side bowed out of the cup after Danish midfielder Lasse Vigen Christensen struck with seven minutes left in extra time.
"I have to be proud. We showed quality, we showed the right spirit, we showed character. I am proud of what they have done and how they fought," said Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic.
Boro manager Karanka was annoyed at seeing his side crash out to a side from a lower league.
He said: "I'm disappointed because I said before the game this trophy is very important for the club.
"I have to apologise to our crowd because they came here midweek and it's an important trophy for this club, we respect this trophy a lot. So this has been difficult."
Karanka made six changes for the tie, but does not believe his selection can be blamed for the result.
"They (Fulham) made 10 changes, so it's not a good explanation," he said.
"Sometimes you think the game is going to be easy because the other team play with 10 different players and you score the first goal. That was the biggest mistake.
"We thought we were better than the other team, we relaxed on the pitch. This kind of attitude reminds me of the past."
Middlesbrough's disappointment was made worse by injuries to two left backs - Fabio da Silva and George Friend - which leaves Karanka with a problem ahead of Sunday's trip to West Brom.
It could force the manager into the transfer market, but he insists he will not make any knee-jerk decisions.
He said: "I don't know if I'll bring in one or two or three. But I won't say today because we lost the game we need five players. It's the same as I said two weeks ago." - Wire Services.
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