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Graham Alexander, Salford CitySalford City marked an historic moment in the Club’s history by reaching Round Two of the Carabao Cup for the first time.

In a ‘giant killing’ of sorts, The Ammies beat newly promoted Championship side Rotherham Untied on penalties to reach Round Two in just the second time in the competition; going one better than last season’s Round One defeat to Leeds United.

The tie was all but decided after Ian Henderson scored from 12 yards with seven minutes of normal time remaining, but in the fifth minute of injury time substitute Matt Crooks equalised after a scramble in the box that included a suspicious foul on Vaclav Hladky.

Keeper Hladky had been brilliant all afternoon, denying The Millers an opening goal on a number of occasions, and it was his heroics that sealed The Ammies’ progression as he saved Joe Mattock’s penalty in front of the empty School End.

It was a great debut for the Czech stopper, and Graham Alexander said it was one amongst many quality performances:

“I think if you want to be successful you need a good goalkeeper, we want to get about teams, we want to press, we want to be aggressive with that, we don’t want to sit behind a ball with all our bodies so you’re going to give up opportunities, so you need a good goalkeeper and Vac is certainly a good goalkeeper. 

“Rotherham will create chances against any team because they put the ball in the box so many times and they’ll probably be the biggest team we play this season, they far outmatched us on the physical side of things but I thought our work ethic, our will to win second balls, then when Vac was needed he produced what was needed and I can’t talk highly enough of the whole group, I thought we were excellent.

“The front players worked exceptionally hard, they took on the tactical instruction that we worked on over the last couple of days to match Rotherham up and try and pin them back which I felt we did. 

“If you become too deep too early against them they’ll just pin you in and I don’t think we did that or allowed that to happen so every credit to the players, but you have to physically work hard against them so I thought there was nothing between the two teams on that score.”

Round Two

Carabao Cup, Salford CityEntering the next round are the Premier League teams not involved in European competition, as well as the successful teams from Round One which include Bradford, Harrogate, Morecambe, Oldham and Port Vale from League Two.

The draw remains regionalised and un-seeded, and will take place following Brentford versus Wycombe Wanderers live on Sky Sports (KO 12:00). Following the Round Two draw, the Round Three draw will be conducted on an either/or basis with the remaining Premier League teams included.

Next up for The Ammies is Wednesday night’s EFL Trophy tie against Manchester United Under-21s at The Peninsula Stadium, which is available to live stream for £10.

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