Agonising & Eventful Month at Stoke Lane.
Carlton Town 2-3 Loughborough Dynamo
The new year would commence with a home fixture against Loughborough Dynamo with both teams looking to get a good start on the first day of the calendar year. The opposition came with a strong squad and showed a lot of determination again under a difficult footing. The Millers would score twice in the first fifteen minutes with goals from Opoku and Clarke before the away team could really get a look in. Dynamo raised their game and were to pull a goal back thirteen minutes before the break. This would spur them on in the second half where they would equalise and ensure that they would run out the victors via a seventy-ninth minute penalty in a game where there were many hotly disputed decisions.
Pickering Town 0-2 Carlton Town
A week later Carlton would travel to yorkshire looking to avenge their home defeat from back in november and would be involved in a fight to the death in this encounter. They would score early through the now fit again Blake and with ten minutes remaining would go onto double that lead through substitute Rollinson. The Millers would finish the game with nine men with Opoku being sent off for time wasting and Clarke for being accused of throwing a water bottle off the pitch which hit the linesman’s flag on it’s way. Clarke in this instance was not to blame and was instigated in a case of mistaken identity. It was a harsh way to end a game which on a heavily sloping pitch would produce a very hard working performance from the team.
Carlton Town 0-4 Stamford
Up next were Stamford, again a team looking to reverse their result from earliar in the season and with the Millers looking to make it back to back victories in the league for the first time this season.The away side started brightly and at times produced some neat and productive play, keeping the home side in hand and under control. They would lead at the interval two-nil with Carlton missing a penalty that could have reduced the arrears before the close. Stamford would continue their good work in the second half and eventually win the game with another two goals in the second period of play.
Ossett United 1-1 Carlton Town
Saturday soon comes round and another furore into Yorkshire beckoned. This one was an end to end battle with Carlton for long periods on the back foot and having to dig in. The home side would open the scoring six minutes after the break and Bartram would equalise twelve minutes later after a goal-less first half. The two teams couldn’t be divided after ninety minutes and again the Millers would finish the match with only nine men with Robinson and Blake both being dismissed for two separate instances.
Newark Flowserve 0-2 Carlton Town
A cold tuesday night was next on the agenda in the senior cup and at times in literally a bruising encounter the team would be triumphant. Another goal early in the game from Bartram would set the Millers on their way but at a cost. Carlton would have to use all three substitutes in the first forty minutes, losing Rollinson with a hamstring problem, Spence with a dislocated shoulder and then his replacement the recently signed McLoughlan with a broken foot. It was at times a fierce contest and was very tight until the dying embers of the game when substitute Stovell put the result beyond doubt.
Carlton Town 1-5 Cleethorpes Town
An encouraging week for the team on the pitch would see a lot of expectation and with the squad now being stretched due to injuries and suspensions see Cleethorpes come to town. It was to be a very frustrating day at the office for the home side and would see them fall apart in the second half after coming back to two-one just before half-time. Stovell again would get on the score sheet to give the Millers some hope for the second half but the team would see three goals conceded in the last twenty-five minutes ruin a decent run of performances from the previous seven days.
February is now on the horizon and the expectations are still high with a group of players that are more than capable of producing a run of results to elevate them up the league. Hopefully this will be achieved this month and the team will be able to show their true quality.
- 2nd Feb Sheffield (a)
- 9th Feb Belper Town (a)
- 16th Feb Spalding Utd (h)