STAMFORD 1-0 CARLTON TOWN - MATCH REPORT
John King struck nine minutes from time as Stamford inflicted a first defeat of the season on Carlton Town in a 1-0 win for the home side.
King steered home after Millers goalkeeper dropped an innocuous looking through ball. It was an unfortunate moment for the keeper who had made a number of fine saves before that to thwart the Daniels, who finished the game strongly.
In further bad news for the visitors, Eddie Schoenecker went off injured towards the end and looks to be out for several weeks.
Carlton manager Wayne Scott made just the one change from the side which beat Sheffield last time out. Aaron Hooton came in for Jordan Wilson.
Danny Gordon whipped over a dangerous cross inside the first minute as Carlton started where they left off on Saturday.
Stamford then went forward and a defensive wall did well to divert a free kick from goal.
Kieran Walker drew a decent save from Dan Haystead after his header from a Danny Gordon throw in. Hooton then headed just wide after good work by Danny Elliott and Wilfried Gnahore.
Stamford went close to scoring when Eliot Putman did well to advance down the left and cross for Jake Duffy to hit a fierce shot, but Steggles made an excellent point-blank save.
Carlton gained control of the game as the half wore on. Gnahore fired one effort over the bar before Danny Gordon went closest to scoring. His thunderbolt 30-yard free kick was goal-bound until Haystead got his fingertips onto it, tipping the ball onto the bar. It was a very good save.
Walker then saw a shot deflected inches wide from another Gordon cross. From the resultant Gordon corner Hooton’s header at goal was cleared off the line by Ben George as the Daniels hung on.
Carlton should have opened the scoring five minutes into the second half. Hooton ran clear on the left but could only hit the side netting.
Stamford then had a wonderful chance to score. Steggles made a marvellous save close range from Jordan Smith, a follow up shot was blocked before Daniel Fletcher blocked a third effort at the back post.
Jake Carlisle then headed a Gordon free kick at Haystead’s goal but the save was comfortable.
By now Stamford had upped the tempo and were pushing Carlton ever-deeper. King, who had been introduced as part of a double substitution with over half an hour left, sent over a lovely cross and Rob Morgan’s goal-bound effort was headed off the line by Darol Lucas.
Elliott Sandy then hit a looping shot from the left which Steggles did well to palm away from underneath the crossbar.
Morgan then fired just wide before Walker did well to clear ahead of Sandy.
Carlton’s defence was holding firm albeit they were coming under fairly relentless pressure as the game entered the final 15 minutes.
King then controlled a long cross-field pass before sending a fine cross into the area to Sam Hollis. Hollis’s point blank effort drew yet another excellent save from Steggles.
With Carlton looking set to return with a hard-earned point all of Steggles good work was undone on 81 minutes. A long punt forward was chased down by King but there appeared no danger as the ball bounced into the left side (Stamford) of the penalty area.
Lucas had it covered but waited for Steggles to come and claim. Steggles hesitated and then came, but when he got to the ball he dropped it at the feet of King, who steered the ball into the open goal from a tight angle.
It was a great shame, given the quality of defending that had preceded it, and something the Carlton defence need to cut out if they are serious about a top 10 finish this season.
Carlton Town: Steggles, Lucas, Fletcher, Schoenecker (Wallace 88), Carlisle, Walker, McNicholas, Elliott, Hooton, Gnahore (Wilson 76), Gordon. Unused substitutes: Gorman, Oldham, Gibbons.
Goals: John King 81
Carlton Town Supporters Club MOTM: Jake Carlisle