Town exited the Carabao Cup this evening after being on the wrong end of an 8-0 defeat at home to Blackburn Rovers.
The Championship side raced into an early lead, making it 4-0 at half-time and showed no let up in their intensity as they pressed home their advantage after the break.
Both sides made a host of changes after triumphing at the weekend. Rovers rotated all but one member of the side that earned a 1-0 win at Watford whilst Simon Weaver made eight changes to the team that defeated Morecambe 2-0, with only Mark Oxley, George Thomson and Levi Sutton retained in the starting eleven.
Town were quickly on the back foot with Will Smith making an early intervention to thwart a Rovers attack in the opening minute. Oxley was then out quickly to deny Gallagher as the tall forward was sizing up an opportunity.
It took the visitors just ten minutes to take the lead though. A series of neat passes around the edge of the box freed Garrett to find the time and space to fire home with his left foot low beyond Oxley.
Gallagher then pounced on a Smith slip just two minutes later to double Rovers lead with an almost carbon copy to the opener and make Town’s evening that even more difficult.
Jack Muldoon had a golden opportunity to reduce the arrears moments later when he outmuscled the Rovers backline but he couldn’t lift his effort above Leo Wahlstedt.
Markanday nearly stretched the lead on twenty minutes after Warren Burrell’s ball was cut out but he couldn’t squeeze his effort past Oxley.
Rovers did get their third on the half-hour though when Buckley was on hand to convert Andy Moran’s cut-back from the byline.
Muldoon had a golden opportunity five minutes before the break when he profited from Abraham Odoh’s powerful run but with Wahlstedt committed he struck the wrong side of the post. Against a side of Blakburn’s quality it was moments like that Town really needed to convert.
On the stroke of half-time Rovers put the tie beyond all doubt when Markand firedy home from the edge of the area past Oxley’s out-stretched right-hand.
At the break Town made three changes, bringing on three of the players initially rested with Luke Armstrong, Sam Folarin and Anthony O’Connor coming on for George Horbury, Matty Daly and Abraham Odoh. The changes saw Town switch to a 4-2-3-1 formation with Burrell coming into midfield.
The visitors made a pair of changes with Zak Gilsenan and Hayden Carter replacing Harry Pickering and Dominic Hyam.
Five minutes after the restart Rovers made it 5-0 when Gallagher was bundled over in the box and Buckley stepped up to convert the spot kick for his second of the evening.
Town’s fourth change of the evening came on the hour mark when James Daly replaced the hard working Muldoon, who on another evening could have had a couple of goals to his name.
Despite their advantage there was no let up from Rovers and having been awarded a free-kick just outside the Town area Gilsenan stepped up and cracked a shot beyond Oxley, who barely had time to move before the ball hit the net.
And the intensity of the Rovers play continued and they netted a seventh when Bloxham turned in the box and fired beyond Oxley before Edmondson added an eighth with fifteen minutes remaining.
With five minutes remaining Oxley was on hand to race of his line to prevent Rovers adding a ninth, thwarting substitute Edmondson, but a difficult evening for Town was soon brough to an end.