The 2016-17 EFL Cup enters its fourth round, with teams fighting to get on top of each other and survive into the fifth round. A lot of heroes from the previous rounds, however, had their efforts undermined by the fact that their teams got eliminated early on.
Around half of the top scorers list of this year's EFL Cup have had their teams bow out of contention for the title, with the best of them included. Peter Crouch, Dean Bowditch and Jack Dunn sits at the top of the list, but will most probably vacate their places when the tournament proceeds in October.
Peter Crouch (3 goals)
Crouch scored all of his three goals in a hat-trick to get the victory vs. Stevenage. The 35-year-old veteran's heroics led the struggling Potters, who were bottom-feeders in the Premier League, past the third round and into the fourth against Hull City. However, their 4-0 sweep of Stevenage was not enough to give them momentum, succumbing to a Tigers game-winner courtesy of Markus Henriksen. Potters boss Mark Hughes called the loss "hard to take".
Dean Bowditch (3 goals)
30-year old Dean Bowditch leads the Milton Keynes Dons, one of the youngest teams in the cup. He scored his last goal in a game vs. Reading in the second round. The Dons, however, went home early off a loss from penalties. Despite their exit, boss Karl Robinzon is still proud of his team, saying they came into the game as "kids" and still stepped up to almost get through the round.
Jack Dunn (3 goals)
Dunn is playing on a five-month loan deal for the Shrimps, who also made a second-round exit from the EFL Cup. He, however, had no plans of just standing still for his new team. Dunn scored a hat-trick during the second half of their 5-4 victory against Rotherham United, launching them into the second round. They fell to AFC Bournemouth, 1-2.
Tammy Abraham (3 goals)
At least one of the top five goal scorers is still in the tournament, and may well top the standings soon. Abraham is on loan for Bristol City, and had yet to disappoint. He has now scored nine goals in 11 appearances for City, his latest being a goal that brought them past Fulham and into the fourth round.
Other players with three goals each are Sandro of the Queens Park Rangers and Simon Makienok of Brighton. Both teams are out of competition for the EFL title.