A round-up of the action from our loanees in the Carabao Cup first round...
Jamie Cumming’s senior debut was a lively affair as the young goalkeeper produced some impressive saves but was unable to prevent Stevenage from exiting the Carabao Cup at the hands of League One promotion favourites Portsmouth.
Stevenage were spared relegation from League Two last term due to Bury’s expulsion from the Football League, while Portsmouth only missed out on promotion to the Championship courtesy of defeat in the play-offs, so the visitors to Hertfordshire were clear favourites as the opening round of domestic cup action got underway.
However, Stevenage initiated a bright start and were 3-1 up inside half an hour. After working as the third-choice keeper in Frank Lampard’s squad last term, Cumming was tasting senior football for the first time and made one particularly eye-catching double save in the second half.
The 20-year-old was helpless as Portsmouth eventually levelled and was then beaten three times in the penalty shoot-out as Stevenage were ultimately defeated. They begin their 2020/21 League Two campaign away at Barrow this weekend.
There was shoot-out misery for another goalkeeper on loan as Jamal Blackman and Rotherham United lost at Salford. The 26-year-old conceded an 86th-minute penalty when he brought down substitute Tom Elliott in a moment of confusion with his defence and, when Ian Henderson squeezed the spot-kick beneath the large frame of the Millers keeper, it looked likely to be the winner.
Yet Rotherham, newly promoted to the Championship after finishing as runners-up to Coventry City last season, produced a late rally and snatched an equaliser deep into stoppage time through Matt Crooks. It was deflating for Salford but they responded well and triumphed 4-2 in the shoot-out to set up a trip to Everton in the second round.
Elsewhere, Izzy Brown was the shoot-out hero for Sheffield Wednesday as the Owls booked their own place in the next round. After featuring throughout the 90 minutes in a 0-0 draw at the Banks’s Stadium, the 23-year-old netted the winning strike from 12 yards to secure victory for his new loan side.
The second round takes place next midweek before Chelsea join in round three the week after. The Blues will host either Middlesbrough or Barnsley.