Newcastle, West Brom escape amid Cup drama
Newcastle and West Bromwich Albion, both relegated from the English Premier League last season, escaped an early League Cup exit on Wednesday as they edged seven-goal thrillers.
Both sides have made an impressive start to the Championship campaign but they were caught cold as Huddersfield and Rotherham of the third and fourth tier respectively made their illustrious hosts sweat for eventual 4-3 successes.
Newcastle's Kevin Nolan netted an 84th-minute winner to see off a Huddersfield side managed by former Geordie favourite Lee Clark. Danny Guthrie had opened the scoring for the Magpies, three wins in four league games to date, after 35 minutes, only for Theo Robinson to level almost from the restart.
Robinson then netted a penalty and Jordan Rhodes had the audacity to make it 3-1 just two minutes into the second half. But Newcastle rallied and veteran Geremi pulled a goal back before Shola Ameobi netted from the spot and then Nolan produced his clincher.
The action at the Hawthorns was no less dramatic as Simon Cox scored the winner in extra-time. Craig Beattie had put Rotherham, in mid-table in League Two, the English professional game's lowest tier, into a 10th-minute but Michael Cummins levelled on the half hour.
Graham Dorrans looked to have put the hosts en route for the win over 90 minutes in making it 2-1 but Tom Pope headed Rotherham level. Beattie and Pope each netted their second in the extra half hour before Cox swept home the winner.
Tottenham had no such close call as they thrashed second tier side Doncaster 5-1 away with goals from Tom Huddlestone, Jamie O'Hara, Peter Crouch, David Bentley and Roman Pavlyuchenko with Martin Woods hitting a consolation penalty for Doncaster.
There was a shock as second tier Blackpool hammered Premier League side Wigan 4-1 while third tier Carlisle won 2-0 at Bristol City, a division above them. Stoke meanwhile edged past third tier Leyton Orient 1-0 away and Cardiff, battling the likes of Newcastle and West Brom for promotion, saw off Bristol Rovers 3-1.