MILLERS THROW AWAY LEAD TO ROYALS
Carlton Town threw away a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 at home to play-off chasing Sutton Coldfield Town.
Les McJannet’s men started where they left off on Saturday and had the Royals looking anything but promotion material in the opening 20 minutes. Fielding just one change from the team which won at Market Drayton, with Jordan in for the injured Martin Kearney, Carlton attacked from the start.
Josh Thornton delivered one excellent cross which was just missed by Julian Topliss and Ruben Wiggins-Thomas, before Thornton put another ball over which Lee Parsons almost put into his own net.
Sutton’s respite was short lived. Alexander Troke sent over a corner which was put out for another flag kick, but when he delivered again, Dean Gent rose to glance a header into the corner of Lee Evans’s net.
That goal came on 11 minutes and ten minutes later Carlton were two ahead. Topliss played the ball through to Wiggins-Thomas and he outpaced Joel Kettle to finish really well past Evans.
Had Carlton maintained that two goal cushion for any length of time, the outcome of the game may have been different, but within 60 seconds the visitors pulled a goal back.
There seemed little danger as the pushed forward from the kick off but Corey Nightingale missed an attempted clearance and Luke Chapman took advantage, cracking the ball into the top corner past Fell.
The goal galvanised the Royals and they pushed forward looking for the equaliser. Parsons headed just wide from a Stuart McNaught long throw with the best of their opportunities.
Blair Anderson then sprayed a lovely ball to Wiggins-Thomas who fed Topliss and when Evans cleared, Wiggins-Thomas was fouled just outside the area. Troke’s free kick was cleared but only to Anderson, who played a lovely touch to Luke Smithson. Smithson cracked a nice shot from the edge of the box which drew a fine save from Evans.
Anderson was at it again on 37 minutes with another crossfield ball to Wiggins-Thomas. This time he fed Smithson who delivered a dangerous cross which the Royals did well to clear.
Back came Sutton and Mark Danks went on a jinking run before spreading the ball left to Craig Milligan. He sent over a lovely cross which was met by a close range header from Daryl Taylor. It looked certain to go in until Fell threw himself to his right and made a fantastic save.
The Royals had to wait just four minutes into the second half to level. A cross from the left was met by Kristian Ramsey-Dickson. His tame effort was cleared, but the clearance took a deflection and fell to substitute Luke Edwards who slotted home.
Chapman then fired at goal from the edge of the box bringing another fine save from Fell, before the Royals completed the turnaround on 53 minutes. Chapman’s free kick was met by a Taylor header past Fell much to the delight of the boisterous travelling support, complete with drum and trumpet.
Carlton responded and a Troke free kick was deflected over the top by a Sutton defender. Meanwhile Parsons had another effort at goal saved by Fell.
The Millers came closest to equalising on 71 minutes when a Matt Varley long throw was cleared as far as Gent on the edge of the box. His shot beat Evans but crashed against the post before being cleared.
McJannet brought in Wes Henry and Jahred Russell to try and retrieve something from the game and when Henry’s shot fell to Smithson, the wide man slotted home and thought he’d levelled. However, the linesman’s flag correctly ruled out the strike.
Carlton’s final opportunity came in added time when Anderson hit a shot which Evans saved and the ball fell agonisingly beyond Wiggins-Thomas who was following up. And that was that.
Carlton Town: Fell, Thornton, Fletcher, Varley, Nightingale, Smithson, Gent, Troke (Russell 75), Anderson, Wiggins-Thomas, Topliss (Henry 75). Unused substitutes: Brindley, Clarke.
Goals: Gent 11, Wiggins-Thomas 21
Carlton Town Supporters Club MOTM – Matt Varley.