UNLUCKY MILLERS LOSE AT SHEFFIELD
An inspired performance by Sheffield keeper Dan Whatsize saw the Millers lose 2-1 to their hosts in a game the visitors had the better of.
Thanks to SIMON HARRIS for this report.
Carlton Town travelled the short distance to the oldest club in the world for the third of four games in eight days.
The Millers lined up without captain Kitchen (kidney infection) and replacing him in the side was Jack Davis who was making his Carlton debut. Taking the captain’s armband was Robert Darkin.
With Sheffield kicking off the first real action of note came for Sheffield’s Steve Woolley as he got on the end of a flick-on but he couldn’t convert his chance inside the Millers box.
Sheffield took the lead on six minutes. Danny Marshall made a smart save from Charlie Weir but he couldn’t hold onto the ball and Weir followed up to score.
On 10 minutes Carlton gained their first chance as Terry Hawkridge went close from 18 yards and Jermain Hollis brought the first of a number of saves from Whatsize on the quarter-hour.
Darkin cleared well minutes later and from the resultant corner Sheffield had the ball in the net, but the referee called a handball.
Hawkridge fired just wide on 22 minutes and Carlton went closer soon afterwards. Daniel Fletcher and Hawkridge combined well to set up Massiah McDonald and his effort crashed against the crossbar.
McDonald then saw another effort blocked and the rebound fell kindly for Hawkridge, whose close range effort brought a stunning save from Whatsize.
In first half stoppage time Ryan Goward hit a 25 yard drive just wide.
The second half started brightly with Carlton having several early chances and on 47 minutes the equalising goal came by a way of Jermain Hollis as he followed up after McDonald hit the crossbar to score his first goal for the Millers.
McDonald crossed soon afterwards but Brown was just wide.
As Carlton pushed for the second goal McDonald was clean through on the Sheffield goal only for Sheffield captain Matt Varley to make a last ditch challenge leading to a free kick on the edge of the box. Terry Hawkridge’s effort brushed the crossbar.
On 63 minutes Carlton’s back four nodded off and allowed Connor Higginson the chance to give Sheffield a 2-1 lead.
Ian Brown brought another excellent stop from Whatsize with a 73rd minute header and with ten minutes remaining Nick Hall headed just over from a Hawkridge corner.
Despite their best efforts, the Millers couldn’t force an equaliser and matters got worse at the final whistle when Darkin was sent off for violent conduct following his reaction to being struck with the ball by a Sheffield player. It was an unfortunate end to a competitive but fair game which the Millers deserved something from.
Carlton Town: Marshall, Thornton, Fletcher, Davis (Grayson 83), Darkin, Hawkridge, Hollis, Hall, Goward (Shaw 65), Brown (Gill 77), McDonald. Unused substitutes: Large, Smith.
Goal: Hollis 47
Carlton Town Supporters Club MOTM: Massiah McDonald