What the press made of the agonising EFL Cup defeat
Crewe Alex went down fighting at Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday night, bowing out of the EFL Cup 4-3 after extra-time.
The Railwaymen lost a 2-0 lead – deservedly established through Billy Bingham and Chris Dagnall – to trail 3-2 but then forced the extra 30 minutes with a last-minute leveller of their own through Dagnall.
Shane Duffy’s winner broke their hearts in the end, but Crewe earned plenty of praise for their efforts against the Championship side at Ewood Park.
CREWE won plenty of plaudits and praise but were unfortunate to see their EFL Cup adventure end at Blackburn Rovers last night.
Just like their opening round game, they forced extra-time with an injury time goal, but the story against Championship side Rovers couldn't have been much different to their round win at Sheffield United.
They dominated for much of the game, building up a deserved 2-0 lead, but one they almost let slip in normal time when Craig Conway scored an 89th minute goal to put the hosts 3-2 up.
But Crewe showed their resilience, with Chris Dagnall deservedly forcing extra-time with a low left-footed shot as the two teams were all square at 3-3 at full-time.
However, they weren't to find another goal in extra-time, with Owen Coyle's men booking their spot in the third round after Shane Duffy's goal seven minutes in to extra-time proved to be the winner.
That was despite a spirited extra-time display from Steve Davis' men who gave their all, but it was praise in defeat as their unbeaten start to the season ended at five games.
SHANE Duffy went from zero to hero as he scored an extra-time winner to send Rovers into the third round of the EFL Cup on a night of drama at a deserted Ewood Park.
The second-round clash attracted a crowd of just 3,448 supporters which made it the lowest attendance at the ground for a league, FA Cup or League Cup match since September 1986.
But those who did attend were treated to a thrilling if mistake-laden contest.
An upset was on the cards when the League Two Railwaymen raced into a two-goal lead through Billy Bingham and Chris Dagnall.
But their Championship opponents fought back and, after Hope Akpan reduced the deficit with his first goal of the campaign, teenager Scott Wharton scored his first for the club, before Craig Conway made it two goals in as many games to turn the tie on its head.
The Railwaymen were not finished yet, though, and Dagnall’s second goal took it to extra-time.
And that’s where the suspension-free Duffy, playing his first match since being sent off and netting two own goals at the Cardiff City Stadium, emerged to be the hero.