An Ashley Grayson goal nine minutes from time earned Carlton Town a hard fought 1-0 win against Shepshed Dynamo.
The win was a major boost for Les McJannet’s men as it ended a run of three successive defeats and also saw the side record a first clean sheet of the campaign.
McJannet made five changes to the side which lost at Hucknall. In came Terry Hawkridge, Ashley Kitchen, Adam Kimberley, Neil Grayson and Ashley Grayson (for his full debut) and out went Curtis Shaw, Ryan Goward, Jermain Hollis, Theo Smith and Rob Gill.
The Millers began well but Dynamo showed from the start that they had more about them than the side which lost 7-2 last season and closed Carlton down at every opportunity. Shepshed, featuring Millers icon Steve Chaplin up front, gave Carlton an early scare when Chaplin hit the outside of the post which an angled drive.
Ian Brown was giving the Shepshed defence something to think about and had a neat turn and shot saved by Aidan Duffy before almost taking advantage of a mix up between Duffy and one of his defenders.
In a game of few chances Chaplin went close again but only a saving tackle from Kitchen prevented him from getting a shot in.
On 26 minutes the Millers went closest to scoring when Neil Grayson’s header hit the bar with Duffy beaten.
Four minutes later the home side thought they’d taken the lead. Kitchen put the ball in the net following a free kick but a late flag ruled him offside.
Hawkridge then won the ball excellently in the right win position, cut inside and hit a fierce shot which was well saved. The ball fell to Neil Grayson whose drive looked goal bound until a superb second save from Duffy saw the ball eventually cleared.
Into the second half and the Millers forced three early corners in quick succession as they looked to take the lead.
But on 53 minutes Dynamo pushed forward and forced a good save out of Danny Marshall from a decent drive.
Hawkridge attacked and crossed and the ball was cleared inches from Neil Grayson’s head with the striker about to convert, before Hawkridge himself hit a shot from the edge of the box that Duffy was equal to.
Just as it looked as if Carlton would have to settle for a point, the breakthrough came.
Hawkridge was sent clear down the right by a long ball from the back. With Shepshed appealing in vain for offside the winger’s cross went behind Neil Grayson. But he was able to divert the ball to Ashley Grayson who cracked a low drive into Duffy’s right hand corner to spark scenes of joy around the ground.
Shepshed replied and only a block by Kitchen prevented a clear sight of goal, and Ashley Grayson had another couple of long range efforts, but the Milers saw out the four added minutes to secure a fourth victory of the season.
Carlton Town: Marshall, Thornton, Fletcher, Kitchen, Millns, Hall, A Grayson, Kimberley (Hollis 87), Hawkridge, N Grayson (Gill 82), Brown (Wiggins-Thomas 70). Unused substitutes: Goward, Smith.
Goal: A Grayson 81
Carlton Town Supporters Club MOTM – Ashley Grayson