DISAPPOINTING MILLERS GO DOWN TO BRIGG
Carlton Town ended their home campaign on a disappointing note, going down 2-1 to promotion chasing Brigg Town at the Bill.
Thanks to BRIAN DENNETT for this report.
It was a first home defeat in three months for Les McJannet’s men, and the result not only boosted the Zebras’ promotion chances but also ended those of the Millers.
McJannet made changes to the side that beat Hucknall on Wednesday. Neil West replaced the ill Danny Marshall in goal, and Theo Smith and Lavell White returned in place of Daniel Fletcher and the injured Nick Hall.
In the first half, in the baking sun and on a rock-hard pitch, the Millers looked sluggish, as if the efforts of Wednesday night had had an effect on them.
Brigg had a claim for a penalty turned down by referee Barney as early as the fifth minute. When the Carlton defence allowed the ball to bounce on the bone hard surface, Paul Grimes was through on goal with only keeper West to beat. He was closed down by Kitchen and Meikle and went to ground, but saw his claim waved away.
Brigg continued to look dangerous on the counter attack and Williams put in an excellent cross from the right wing which was headed away by Thornton at the far post.
In the 27th minute Brigg took the lead from the penalty spot. Goward’s pass was easily intercepted by right back Michael Jacklin. He advanced towards the goal line but crossed weakly to Grimes. The striker looked to be going nowhere but was challenged from behind by three Carlton players and hit the deck. Hawkridge appeared to make the decisive contact. Either way, the referee awarded a spot kick and Buttle stepped up to place his shot beyond West.
If that was poor from a Carlton perspective, the second goal was even worse. A long ball out of the Brigg defence appeared harmless enough. West came a long way out of goal to clear but his clearance was poor and Buttle was able to direct the ball to Oliver Chappell who had the simple task of rolling the ball into an empty net.
Carlton's best chance came towards the end of the first half, when a good move saw White put clear in the area by Shaw, but his first time effort was weak and straight at Andrew Pettinger in the Brigg goal.
As Carlton looked for a way back into the game, Hawkridge was put clear in the area, but he was unable to control the long ball and the chance went begging.
Carlton came out with more purpose at the start of the second half, and reduced the arrears in the 50th minute, when Hawkridge's cross was handled in the box. The Brigg defence protested that the culprit was a Carlton player but, after consulting with the linesman, the referee confirmed the award of the penalty and Shaw made no mistake from the spot.
Hawkridge again caused problems for the visitors’ defence when a short burst into the area resulted in his cross being diverted away from the advancing Shaw, and only a desperate scramble by Pettinger, prevented an own goal.
A minute later Hollis was through on goal but, having taken the ball wide of Pettinger, he was unable to force the ball home from a tight angle.
As the game entered its final quarter the Millers finally put the Brigg rearguard under some sustained pressure, assisted by McJannet bringing on Grayson and later Troughton.
Pettinger made his best save of the game, tipping an Ashley Kitchen header onto the crossbar as Carlton looked to level.
With five minutes remaining Grayson got on the end of a long ball but his effort was saved at the expense of a corner. The resulting corner was headed goalwards by Thornton, but Pettinger managed to get a hand to it to divert it over the bar.
As the ball was delivered back in, Carlton thought they had the ball in the net when Hawkridge’s deep cross was headed down by Meikle at the far post. Pettinger forced the ball onto the base of the near post and appeared to spin across the line before being cleared. The referee waved away claims for a goal and it certainly would have been a brave decision to have given it, given the number of players in the area at the time.
Brigg saw out the four minutes of added time to complete a double over the Millers and put themselves back into the play-off positions. For Carlton, the league season will end with Monday’s trip to Spalding before gearing up for the Notts Senior Cup final next week.
Carlton Town - West, Thornton, Goward, Meikle, Kitchen, Shaw, Smith (sub Troughton 84), Hawkridge, Chaplin (sub Grayson 64), Hollis, White (sub Fletcher 64). Unused substitute: Clarke.
Goal: Shaw 50 pen
Carlton Town Supporters Club MOTM – Josh Thornton