Tranmere upset the odds to beat Oxford United 2-0 and book a spot in March’s Papa John’s Trophy final at Wembley.
Karl Robinson had overseen a remarkable run of form leading into the semi-final at the Kassam Stadium, with United having lost just two of their previous 17 games in all competitions – a run stretching back to December 1.
But though he may have had his sights set on guiding the club to its third EFL Trophy final in six seasons, those hopes took a hit after 35 minutes when Kaiyne Woolery cut in off the right flank and fired League Two Rovers ahead, despite replays hinting at a missed handball in the build-up.
Defender Rob Atkinson earned a penalty after he was brought down inside the area shortly after the break, but Matty Taylor spurned the opportunity to restore parity when he blazed his spot-kick into the empty stand behind the goal.
And Kieron Morris sealed victory for the visitors with a fizzing half-volley with 66 minutes on the clock after Oxford failed to clear their lines from a free-kick.
Keith Hill’s men advance to the Wembley showpiece on Sunday, March 14, when they will face the winner of Wednesday’s other semi-final clash between Sunderland and Lincoln – a game which is live on Sky Sports Football.