MILLERS LOSE AT SHEFFIELD
The Millers trademark inconsistency struck again as they followed up Saturday’s win over Newcastle with a 2-0 defeat at Sheffield.
Overall, Carlton can have no complaints but they will look back with regret at chances missed during an opening half hour in which they controlled the game. However, it was Club who took the lead through Jack Muldoon shortly before half time and once Joel Purkiss doubled the lead on the hour, the result was never in doubt.
Les McJannet made three changes to the side which beat Newcastle. Jordan Fell replaced Martin Kearney in goal, with Ryan Whitehurst and Julian Topliss starting in place of Blair Anderson and Ruben Wiggins-Thomas.
The Millers took the game to Sheffield from the start, looking to win for the first time at the BT Business stadium. Smithson looked dangerous and on six minutes Carlton had their best chance of the entire match.
Smithson beat his man on the right hand side and delivered a cross which found Wes Henry completely unmarked just six yards from goal. However, Saturday’s man of the match headed wide when he looked certain to score.
Sheffield had the ball in the net on 13 minutes when Matt Roney, making his 300th appearance for Club, a fantastic achievement, converted following a nice passing move. However, an offside flag brought an end to any celebrations.
Whitehurst’s game was over after just 15 minutes following an injury and he was replaced by Will Gordon.
The Millers were putting the home side under some pressure and forced a series of corners, but Jamie Hadfield in the Sheffield defence was equal to everything the Millers could throw at him. Nevertheless, Smithson latched onto one good Grant Brindley pass and Lee Cooksey was forced to head clear.
On 35 minutes Henry beat his man for pace and cut deep into the penalty area. With the angle narrowing the striker fired over the top from close range.
Club finally came to life and James Gregory hit the side netting after a burst of pace down the left hand side, before Purkiss picked up Andrew Gasgoigne’s pass and hit a half-volley drawing a fine save from Fell.
Muldoon then threaded a pass to Gregory who went clean through on goal. With only Fell to beat the young goalkeeper did well to force Gregory wide and the ball ran harmlessly out of play after Gregory overhit it.
However, Carlton’s relief was short-lived. Muldoon picked up the ball on the left hand side on 41 minutes and finished neatly into the corner of the net across Fell.
Sheffield began the second half in far more determined fashion. They almost scored straight from the kick off when Gascoigne’s 50 yard effort had to be tipped onto the bar and over by Fell.
Corey Nightingale won the ball well in midfield and fed Topliss who turned Hadfield and shot, bringing a decent save from Liam Flynn.
Carlton’s hopes took a fatal blow on the hour. Grant Brindley had committed a foul on the edge of the Carlton area after Matt Varley had lost possession, but the referee waved play-on as Gregory advanced on goal. The wide man took the ball around Fell and just as he was about to score, the referee blew his whistle to award the free kick against Brindley.
Sheffield were understandably upset, that was until Purkiss stepped up and hit a delicious shot over the wall and into Fell’s right hand corner.
Carlton showed plenty of endeavour thereafter to try and get back into the game, but two goals never looked likely. Flynn saved one Varley header well, and tipped another effort from Dean Gent over the bar, but the closest the Millers came was in the final minute when Josh Thornton teed up Topliss whose shot was tipped around the post by Flynn.
Carlton Town: Fell, Nightingale, Fletcher (Gent 72), Varley, Brindley, Smithson, Whitehurst (Gordon 15), Troke, Thornton, Henry (Wiggins-Thomas 72), Topliss. Unused substitute: Clarke.
Carlton Town Supporters Club MOTM – Luke Smithson.