First Team - Report
|Goole AFC||2||vs||2||Carlton Town|
KITCHEN INJURY OVERSHADOWS MILLERS FIGHTBACK
A serious injury to captain Ashley Kitchen overshadowed an excellent fightback as Carlton Town came from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Goole.
There were fears that he’d broken his neck as he was unable to feel any sensations in his legs whilst on the pitch but thankfully the indications from hospital are that the injury is not as serious as first feared and he should make a full recovery.
The day had begun poorly for Les McJannet’s side as Danny Marshall, Josh Thornton and Matt Millns all pulled out of the trip with illness. With Nick Hall unavailable and Dan Fletcher and Alistair Asher suspended, it meant Carlton had only 13 players for the game, including assistant manager Mark Clarke. It also meant that Rob Gill started at centre-half alongside Kitchen with Rob Darkin moving to right back.
The first period had a very flat feel to it and Carlton showed little of their recent impressive form. Theo Smith brought a good save out of home goalkeeper Aaron Chapman on four minutes after a cross from Ryan Goward, and shortly afterwards Kitchen and Adam Kimberley combined to set the latter free but his shot went just wide.
It was the home side who opened the scoring on 24 minutes. Carlton failed to clear a corner and Glyn Cotton was able to power home from 10 yards.
The Millers came closest to equalising on 37 minutes. Goward laid the ball inside to Terry Hawkridge whose 20 yard drive was superbly tipped away by Chapman. From the resulting corner Reuben Wiggins-Thomas headed just wide.
The Millers had clearly had a good talking-to at half time because they began the second half in far more positive mood. Wiggins-Thomas twisted and turned from Ian Brown’s ball before firing inches over with barely 40 seconds on the clock and the half continued in that pattern.
The striker was sent away down the right by Smith a minute later but his angled drive went just wide. Hawkridge and Wiggins-Thomas then combined well but the wide man’s shot was well saved by Chapman.
On 62 minutes came what looked to be the defining moment of the game. Goole in their first attack of the half broke down the right hand side. A long ball into the box caught Kitchen and West in two minds and as West came to punch the ball he collided with Kitchen. The collision seemed fairly innocuous to the naked eye and as the ball ricocheted around the Carlton penalty area, Cotton was on hand to score his second of the game.
But it soon became apparent that this was no ordinary injury. Kitchen remained stationary on the floor and the physio Naomi Clarke rushed on to assist. With the players around him showing obvious signs of concern, the decision was taken to suspend play until the arrival of medical assistance. In the bitterly cold conditions most of the Goole team sensibly left the pitch but Carlton’s players were concerned in looking after their captain. Ian Brown in particular remained comforting him for the whole period.
Once the ambulance arrived and Kitchen was stretchered off, play resumed, some 45 minutes later, with Neil Grayson replacing Kitchen and Ashley Grayson moving to right back so Darkin could move into the middle.
Any thoughts that the Millers players might not be up for the last 28 minutes were soon dispelled and on 72 minutes they halved the deficit. Smith played a ball through the middle of the Goole defence which Wiggins-Thomas ran onto before despatching expertly past Chapman.
It was once again all Carlton as the Millers sought the equaliser. Wiggins-Thomas forced a good save from Chapman at his near post and Kimberly hit a strike over the bar as Carlton went close.
The equalising goal came with just four minutes left. Hawkridge knocked a ball to Ashley Grayson whose clever flicked header set Neil Grayson free on the right hand side. Neil Grayson’s first touch took him too wide to shoot but he drove the ball across the six-yard box and Wiggins-Thomas rushed in at the back post to slam home the deserved leveller and spark joyous scenes on the visitors’ bench.
As the game entered stoppage time Goole had one final chance but they headed narrowly wide from a corner and the match finished a draw.
Carlton Town: West, Darkin, Goward, Kitchen (N Grayson 62), Gill, Hawkridge, Smith, A Grayson, Kimberley, Brown, Wiggins-Thomas. Unused substitute: Clarke.
Goals: Wiggins-Thomas 72, 86
Carlton Town Supporters Club MOTM: Rob Darkin.