LINCOLN UTD 1-1 CARLTON TOWN - MATCH REPORT
Jack Steggles made a series of outstanding saves as Carlton Town drew 1-1 at Lincoln Utd.
Steggles made three excellent saves in particular in the first half as Lincoln looked much improved on the side that went down to the Millers in the league cup just ten days earlier.
On the other hand, Carlton manager Wayne Scott will point to the fact that the Millers did take the lead through Ben Hutchinson and had chances to seal victory as evidence of the fact his side merited the point they eventually took away from Ashby Avenue.
Scott made just the one change to the side which thrashed Gresley last time out, with Niall Davie in for the injured Riece Bertram.
The Whites, featuring ex-Miller Rob Norris in their starting line-up, began well and should have taken the lead on 11 minutes. Tom Garrick saw a volley from a corner hit the post and his follow-up shot drew a stunning save from Steggles at point blank range. The loose ball fell to Matt Cotton who looked certain to score but he blazed high over the bar.
Kallum Smith then fired low into the corner from the edge of the box only for another flying save from Steggles to deny him.
Carlton’s first good move of the game involved Oliver Clark, Hutchinson and Luke Smithson with the latter seeing his shot deflected wide.
Oliver Robinson then combined with Smithson before firing over the bar from a tight angle.
Back came Lincoln and when Norris beat Davie and crossed to Cotton the striker looked certain to score, only for Steggles to make his best save of the game and somehow keep the ball out.
At the other end Carlton did look capable of scoring, and Kieran Walker went close with a header from a Hutchinson cross.
Still, Lincoln had the majority of the play and Smith fired just wide while James Blunden put a free header over the bar.
Carlton punished Lincoln for their profligacy on 43 minutes when they opened the scoring. Connor Bartle’s vicious angled free kick was met with a glancing Hutchinson header into the corner of the net to the delight of the travelling support.
The goal inspired Carlton and for the first 15 minutes of the second half they pushed forward trying to kill the game. Clark met a Bartle throw-in and saw his effort deflected onto the cross bar with Lincoln desperately clearing the ball.
Smithson then fired over the top from a Walker throw-in, while Aidan Austin saw a dangerous cross cleared.
Lincoln regained their composure and enjoyed a series of corners which tested Steggles in bright sunshine, with Hutchinson having to head off the line at one point.
Carlton survived and a lovely move involving Smithson, Hutchinson and Austin saw a cross just tipped away from the on-rushing Hutchinson.
Kevin Hemagou then volleyed high over the bar before the Whites levelled on 72 minutes. A corner wasn’t cleared and Andy Hutchinson rifled a powerful strike home from inside the area.
That led the Whites to storm the Carlton goal for the final period of the game. All of the Carlton players battled hard, but struggled to keep possession. Sean Wright put one effort over the bar and Steggles made another save, this time from Liam Dickens.
In the second of seven added minutes Carlton scrambled the ball off the line from a corner and Michael Jacklin headed over the bar at the far post.
The Millers kept their wits about them and saw out the extended end to the game to pick up a point definitely gained.
Carlton Town: Steggles, Robinson, Bartle, Davie, Moore, Walker, Frost, O Clark, Smithson, Hutchinson, Austin (Tomlinson 75). Unused substitutes: Kwadu, Pick, Akaunu
Goals: Hutchinson 43; Andy Hutchinson 72
Carlton Town Supporters Club MOTM: Jack Steggles