MILLERS WIN AND CLOSE IN ON PLAY OFFS
Carlton Town moved within one win of confirming their place in the playoffs with a 2-0 win at Newcastle Town.
The win, Carlton’s first against Castle, came courtesy of goals from Sam McVicar and Anthony Griffith Junior, but a solid defensive display ensured that the Millers rarely looked in danger against the home side.
Les McJannet made four changes from the side which lost in the Notts Senior Cup against Eastwood. New father Andy Richmond replaced Grant Vann in goal, Joe Naylor came in for Nick Hall who was on the bench, Adam Kimberley replaced the injured Anton Foster and Ashley Kitchen replaced the injured Matt Millns. Also back at the club and on the bench was former favourite Tristan Whitman who had re-signed from Quorn on deadline day.
In a scrappy first half the home side had the first opportunity when a deep ball down the left saw Andy Nicholls beat Daniel Fletcher to the ball. As Richmond rushed out Nicholls shot just past the far post.
McJannet had to make a change on just 15 minutes when Adam Kimberley limped off injured and Nick Hall joined the fray.
The Millers opened the scoring on 27 minutes when Alistair Asher played a neat ball down the right flank for Reuben Wiggins-Thomas. The striker crossed well to allow McVicar to tap in from six yards.
The home side came back and on 36 minutes there was a scramble in the visitors’ penalty area but Carlton defended well and Richmond was able to clear up.
Terry Hawkridge hit a free kick at goal on 43 minutes which was comfortably saved by Dave Parton in the home goal and with the game in the third minute of first half stoppage time, good work by Josh Thornton and Wiggins-Thomas led to Parton making a fine save from McVicar.
Into the second half and Joe Naylor fired just over from an acute angle after a good move involving Hawkridge and Asher.
Ten minutes into the second half and the Millers should have doubled their lead. Rob Darkin cleared well to Naylor whose header sent Wiggins-Thomas through on goal. He outpaced the defenders but with just Parton to beat he shot agonisingly wide.
Newcastle huffed and puffed but Carlton kept their shape and defended very well leading to no clear openings for the home side.
With ten minutes remaining McJannet replaced McVicar with Griffith Junior and he immediately went on a tricky run into the penalty area before seeing a shot deflected for a corner.
On 85 minutes the victory was sealed by a splendid goal. Hawkridge was fouled just outside the area on the left hand side level with the penalty spot. Griffith Junior floated the free kick high into the net at the back post with Parton nowhere near it.
There was the welcome sight of Tris Whitman returning to action in Carlton colours when he replaced Wiggins-Thomas on 87 minutes but it was Griiffith Junior who almost scored his second and Carlton’s third when he went on another good run a minute later. On that occasion Adam Bayley made a very good block to leave the final score as 2-0.
Carlton Town: Richmond, Asher, Fletcher, Darkin, Kitchen, Naylor, Kimberley (Hall 15), Hawkridge, Thornton, McVicar (Griffith Junior 80), Wiggins-Thomas (Whitman 87). Unused substitute: Clarke.
Goals: McVicar 27, Griffith Junior 85.
Carlton Town Supporters Club MOTM – Ashley Kitchen.