BEDWORTH UTD 3-1 CARLTON TOWN - MATCH REPORT
Carlton Town’s season ended with a 3-1 defeat at promotion contenders Bedworth Utd.
The Greenbacks, needing a win to guarantee home advantage in the play-off semi-final, were ultimately too strong for the Millers but Carlton, like so often his season, had their chances to score and will be disappointed in the goals they conceded.
The Millers end the season in 19th place, the same as last season, and without a win in their last 10 games. There are obvious mitigating circumstances – 12 games in the final 24 days of the season was almost inhumane – but there will be a sense of frustration that what at times had promised to be a much improved campaign fell away in the final two months.
Manager Wayne Scott made three changes to the side beaten by Gresley last time out. In came Ephraim Pepe, Niall Davie and Kaylum Mitchell in place of Riece Bertram (suspended), Louis Danquah and Ben Wallace.
Bedworth featured popular ex-Carlton midfielder Alex Troke, who 12 months ago played a key role in the Notts Senior Cup final win.
Carlton began the better and should have gone ahead as early as the fourth minute. Mamoke Akaunu fed the ball to Harry Gibbons. The midfielder showed lovely awareness to slip the ball to Darol Lucas who cut into the area and saw two shots blocked. The loose ball from the second shot fell to Tyler Blake but with the goal gaping the striker fired against the cross bar.
Gibbons picked up the rebound and with Bedworth throwing bodies in the way he couldn’t find a way through with Elliot Parrott clearing off the line.
The Greenbacks responded and Jack Steggles did well to hold a long range effort from Luke Rowe, before Khaellem Bailey-Nicholls fired straight at the Carlton goalkeeper.
Kieran Walker then made an excellent block from a Levi Rowley cross as Bedworth pushed forward.
On the artificial surface, both sides were playing some fine passing football with Troke influential for the home side and Gibbons and Mitchell looking to set the tone for the visitors.
Daniel Crane in the Bedworth goal then fumbled a Davie free kick and was relieved to see the ball drop just beyond the post for a corner.
Rowley headed against the bar on 36 minutes from a corner and Jamie McAteer headed the rebound over the top.
Two minutes later Bedworth took the lead. Steggles made a marvellous save from another McAteer header. The resultant corner was cleared but when Rowe whipped the ball back in, Daniel Fletcher inadvertently sent a bullet header past Steggles into his own net.
Troke then fired just over as Bedworth sensed they might get a second, and that goal came seconds before half time.
There seemed little danger when Steggles came to catch a high ball into the area but he dropped the ball and Richard Blythe took advantage, firing an angled drive into the top corner.
Bailey-Nicholls ran clean through early in the second half but Steggles did very well to come out and force him wide of goal.
At the other end substitute Jordan Wilson was sent away by Akaunu. Wilson hesitated and Mark Albrighton was able to block.
Wilson then saw a shot blocked after some good passing from Akaunu and Lucas.
Bailey Nicholls then saw Steggles make another excellent save before firing the rebound against the post.
Bedworth got their third on 56 minutes. Troke freed Rowley on the right hand side and with Steggles caught around the penalty spot Rowley lifted the ball over him and into the net – it was a delightful piece of skill from the Bedworth man.
Danny Elliott had a couple of long-range efforts saved before Carlton got a consolation with 11 minutes remaining.
Davie’s corner was headed into the net by Walker, with Kane Baldwin trying and just failing to get a touch as the ball bounced past Crane.
Blake almost grabbed a second in the last minute, winning the ball on the edge of the box, turning neatly and firing at goal, but Crane made a good save.
At the final whistle the entire Carlton team came over the small band of travelling fans behind the goal to thank them for their support this season in a gesture that was much appreciated.
Onwards and upwards for next season!
Carlton Town: Steggles, Pepe (Baldwin 75), Davie, Lucas, Fletcher, Walker, Mitchell, Elliott, Blake, Gibbons (Wilson 46), Akaunu (Harris 75). Unused substitutes: Walace
Goals: Walker 79; Daniel Fletcher 38 (og), Richard Blythe 45, Levi Rowley 55
Carlton Town Supporters Club MOTM: Darol Lucas