As Rotherham United embark on the Alan Stubbs era with their new manager looking to build their Championship campaign around young talent, EFL Cup embarrassment was heaped on them by a former Millers player at the other end of the age scale.
Kevin Ellison, now 37, came off the bench to score the extra-time goal that put League Two Morecambe 4-3 ahead and then provided the assist for fellow substitute Jack Dunn to wrap up matters with a hat-trick with two minutes to go.
Teenage Rotherham striker Jerry Yates scored his second goal of the night in the 120th minute to reduce the arrears, but Stubbs’ side were out of the competition in the first round.
That’s the third time in three games Ellison has hit the target against his old club.
It was a night of horrible frustration for the Millers who were undone time and again by a team two divisions below them in the Football League pyramid. Next up, the little matter of a league clash at Aston Villa on Saturday.
Surely they will defend better at Villa Park than they did at AESSEAL New York Stadium with a side containing eight changes from the one which had drawn 2-2 with Wolves on opening day last weekend.
The Shrimps were well worth their victory.
By the 82nd minute, the Millers trailed 2-1 to goals from Cole Stockton and Jack Dunn.
Then they looked like they would be heading through to tomorrow evening’s second-round draw as they hit back with two goals in two minutes.
Yates, in his first senior start, buried his shot from the edge of the box, and anything he could do sub Anthony Forde could do even better.
The right winger raced in from the flank a minute later to hammer a stunning shot from a tight angle past Barry Roche.
However, Morecambe weren’t finished and they equalised in time added on when Richard Wood fouled Dunn in the area and Dunn scored from the spot.
Cue overtime, Ellison’s heroics and a mad, bald-headed sprint and slide as he and his teammates upset the odds.
“First of all, it was obviously disappointing to lose, and secondly the manner of the goals is not good enough,” Stubbs said. “They were very basic. We should be able to deal at this level with their type of play. I am disappointed with the way we defended.”
The evening had got off to a terrible start for the Millers and new centre-half Kelvin Wilson in particular.
Wilson once kept Lionel Messi goalless in a Champions League match, yet he was just minutes into his Rotherham debut when he was undone by a couple of lower-league journeymen.
He tried to pass the ball across his own penalty area, the lurking Tom Barkhuizen got in the way and Stockton curled the ball round goalkeeper Lewis Price.
With a sparse first-round crowd watching on, it was a far cry from the packed Nou Camp when Wilson starred for Celtic against Barcelona’s finest.
One hundred and eighteen Shrimps fans enjoyed the moment far more than poor Kelvin did.
His mistake set the tone for much of a night of far too many errors from the disjointed, outplayed Millers.
And the centre-half malaise was catching.
Greg Halford had brought Rotherham level from the penalty spot in the 59th minute, but he inexplicably let the ball run past him at the other end eight minutes later and Shrimps substitute Jack Dunn put the visitors 2-1 in front.
Then, in the 92nd minute, Wood was the culprit, giving away the penalty that brought Dunn his second goal and took the game into extra time.
Goalkeeper Lewis Price, Wilson and left-back Mason Warren made their first appearances for Rotherham, while there were first starts for midfielder Scott Allan and centre-forward Yates.
Morecambe fashioned the clearer chances and should have had the match won in regulation time, with Price rescuing the Millers several times.
Rotherham’s record signing, Jon Taylor, rattled the bar with a fierce strike in the 14th minute but it wasn’t until much later, when Danny Ward added to the numbers up front, that they started to look more dangerous.
It wasn’t all bad for Wilson, not yet match-fit and a player who, like Rotherham, will have much better days. He missed most of a shock evening having been subbed at half-time.
Rotherham United (4-3-3): Price; Thorpe, Halford, Wilson (Wood H-T), Warren; Forster-Caskey (Ward 63), Smallwood, Vaulks; Taylor, Yates, Allan (Forde 76). Subs not used: Camp, Kelly, Bailey-King, Muskwe.
Morecambe (4-2-3-1 ): Roche; Wakefield, Edwards, Whitmore, Conlan; Kenyan (Fleming 87), Rose; Barkhuizen, Mullin (Dunn 63), Molyneux; Stockton (Ellison 87). Subs not used: Nizic, McGowan.
Goals: Stockton 6, Dunn 67, pen 90+1, 118, Ellison 113 (Morecambe); Halford pen 52, Yates 82, 120, Forde 83 (Rotherham).
Referee: Seb Stockbridge (Tyne & Wear).
Attendance: 3,793 (118).