Thursday 22 March 2018

Duffy makes amends with Cup Winner

Shane Duffy Picture: Sportsfile
Shane Duffy Picture: Sportsfile

Shane Duffy made amends for his recent Championship meltdown by bagging the winner in Blackburn Rovers' 4-3 League Cup victory over Crewe Alexandra last night.

The Ireland defender's 97th-minute strike helped his side progress into the third round a week after he registered two own-goals and a red card in Blackburn's defeat to Cardiff City.

Meanwhile, Peter Crouch scored a hat-trick as Stoke progressed by sweeping aside League Two Stevenage 4-0 at the Lamex Stadium.

The former England striker scored either side of Phil Bardsley's brilliant 30-yard strike, before adding his third with 20 minutes left to seal a comprehensive victory.

At Goodison Park, Aaron Lennon's first goal since March, captain for the night Ross Barkley's second of the season and two rare strikes from Arouna Kone gave Everton a 4-0 win at home to Yeovil.

Striker Romelu Lukaku's first start of the campaign showed he still has some way to go to reach the sharpness which brought him 25 goals last term.

He was outdone by substitute Kone, who scored his first goals since January, taking his tally to just 11 in 56 matches over three years.

Lukaku curled a shot wide after just 90 seconds, had a half-volley cleared off the line by Alex Lawless, fired wastefully wide at the near-post and poked one past goalkeeper Artur Krysiak but wide in the first half, and did not get any closer after the break.

Yannick Bolasie, making his full debut for the Toffees, was a handful on both flanks and had a penalty shout turned down after Bevis Mugabi's tackle, but the only move of real quality, in the 28th minute, left the League Two visitors chasing shadows.

A quick interchange of passes between James McCarthy, Barkley and Lukaku cut through Yeovil and McCarthy's pull-back from the byline was side-footed into an unguarded net by Lennon.

Elsewhere, Crystal Palace earned their first victory of the season and gave Christian Benteke his debut in a 2-0 defeat of Blackpool at Selhurst Park.

Alan Pardew, however, will know League Two Blackpool provided limited opposition in losing to an own goal and a further effort from Connor Wickham.

Leeds were given a few scares by League Two Luton but a first-half goal from Tyler Denton was enough to see the Championship side progress with a 1-0 win at Kenilworth Road.

Irish Independent

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