Battling performance earns Glapwell vital victory
Substitute Ian Brown scored the only goal 21 minutes from time as Glapwell rode their luck to record a fortuitous 1-0 victory over second-placed Carlton Town at Hall Corner.
It was a fortunate victory for Glapwell who were completely outplayed in the first half by a Carlton Town side that are by far the best team that Glapwell have come up against this season.
Coming into the game the two teams were in contrast to each other in terms of recent form with Glapwell winning three of their least four games with three clean sheets. The Millers had won only one of their previous five fixtures.
Carlton lined up with four former Glapwell players in their starting line-up; Neil West, Rob Darkin, Ashley Kitchen and Neil Grayson and Ryan Goward was another former Glapwell player in their squad as he was named amongst the substitutes. Whereas former Glapwell manager Les McJannet was in charge of the Millers.
The game, itself, started slowly with neither team settling quickly. Although the conditions had a part in that as a strong wind blowing towards Glapwell’s goal was causing problems with neither team able to play any real fluent football.
The first chance of the game fell to the visitors on 11 minutes. Nick Hall finding space for himself before shooting straight at James Lindley from 25 yards.
This started a real good spell for the visitors who were unfortunate not to find themselves at least one goal up at the break. The next chance saw Warren Hatfield ambitiously try to score from 30 yards out and, in all fairness, it was a great effort that wasn’t all that far wide of the post.
The visitors were really starting to get a stranglehold of the game with Curtis Shaw and Nick Hall controlling the midfield whereas veteran striker Neil Grayson was doing his job well up front with little support at times.
The closest either side came to breaking the deadlock was on 23 minutes when Hall went for goal from 30 yards and it needed a fine save from Glapwell keeper Lindley to tip the ball onto the crossbar and away from danger.
Glapwell had to wait until just before the half-hour mark for their first real chance of the game. Matt Telling doing very well down the left before crossing to the back post where leading scorer Ian Holmes could only drag his shot wide from six yards.
However, Carlton soon got themselves back in the groove and came close to opening the scoring shortly afterwards. Lindley’s kick got caught up in the wind and fell to Shaw who cleverly dinked to the back post where Neil Grayson looked odds-on the score but Matt Varley just got back and got the final touch for a corner.
The visitors domination at this stage really was astounding and Lindley was called into action again five minutes before the interval. Ricky Gardner’s free-kick from the right wing nearly deceived the Glapwell keeper but once again he got his fingertips to the ball and touched it onto the crossbar.
Just two minutes later the visitors hit the woodwork for the third time. Grayson taking a free-kick from the edge of the box that came crashing back off the bar before the danger was eventually cleared by the Glapwell defence.
The half-time whistle was a relief to Glapwell who were lucky to get to the interval level but they would have been hoping to take advantage of the generous conditions that had undoubtedly helped the visitors during the first period.
Glapwell were forced to make a change at the interval, bringing on Aaron Shelley for Michael Harcourt who was forced off with an head injury he received towards the end of the first half.
The second period started brighter for Glapwell as first Conor Higginson had their first shot on target but the shot was weak and a comfortable save for Neil West.
The just minutes later from Higginson’s corner Matt Varley got up well to head the ball goal wards but Gary Townsend flicked the ball over the bar from eight yards.
Nevertheless, it was Carlton that went closest to scoring when Gardner’s free-kick was destined for the bottom corner but for another good save by man-of-the-match James Lindley.
Glapwell were now just starting to look as dangerous as they had in the entire match as Matt Telling did brilliantly to win the ball back before playing in Higginson who was forced out by Rob Darkin and so could only shoot tamely again at West.
The only goal of the game was scored with just over 20 minutes remaining as Damien Magee won the ball from a Carlton throw-in before playing in Ian Holmes on the edge of the box who then played a smart ball through to Ian Brown who took a touch and fired a shot across West and into the far bottom corner from 12 yards.
It was a goal that Glapwell didn’t really deserve but it was now up to the visitors to try and break down the Glapwell defence and more importantly the impressive Lindley.
Even when Glapwell were attacking the visitors always looked dangerous on the break with Curtis Shaw the main threat as he was looking comfortable in midfield.
Glapwell had a chance to double their lead shortly after they took the lead but Higginson turned and shot well wide of the target.
As the game wore on it was Carlton that were, once again, doing the most attacking with Glapwell’s defence just starting to get a little deeper. And the visitors had a big chance to equalise with just under 10 minutes remaining as sub Antwon Bonnick burst into the box before smashing the ball that flashed across the goal past two helpless Carlton players who couldn’t force it in at the back post.
With time quickly running out for the visitors they then had another chance to try and salvage something from the game but after an scramble from a corner Grayson volleyed well over the bar from 12 yards.
In the dying minutes the visitors were putting a lot of pressure on the Glapwell goal and it made for a real nervy ending but Glapwell just did enough in the end to see the game out and cling on for a vital three points.
The result keeps Glapwell in sixth place, still one outside the play-offs and also one point behind. Although they have now closed the gap on Carlton, who are now in third, to just six points.
A special mention must go to James Lindley who kept Glapwell in the game with a string of fine saves in the first half as well as the second as he earned a well deserved man-of-the-match.
With Alfreton drawing their F.A Trophy game against Cambridge, Glapwell’s scheduled game in the Derbyshire Senior Cup at Alfreton on Tuesday night has been called off due to the replay which means Glapwell have a free midweek before they return to action next Saturday with a trip to Lincoln United, kick-off 3.00pm.
Match report written by Paul Hepworth
Goals : Brown (Glapwell) 69
Glapwell : Lindley, Harcourt (Shelley H/T), Magee, Varley, Kennedy, Timons, Telling, Walker, Townsend (Brown 54), Holmes, Higginson (Kimberley 82). Subs not used : Richmond
Glapwell Man of the Match : James Lindley
Carlton : West, Darkin, Fletcher, Shaw, Kitchen, Hall, Thornton, Hatfield (Hollis 68), Grayson, Troughton (Bonnick 74), Gardner (Hawkridge 78). Subs not used : Goward, Langford
Referee : Luke Watson
Attendance : 115