Carlton Town exited the FA Cup at the first time of asking for the fourth season in succession as they lost 3-2 at United Counties League Boston Town.
The damage was done in the first half as the Millers went 3-1 down against the Poachers. Captain Aaron Hooton reduced the arrears in the second half and had two goals controversially disallowed as Carlton belatedly raised their game, but in truth Wayne Scott’s side could have no complaints about their cup exit.
To add to their misery Hooton was sent off in injury time for two instances of dissent within 60 seconds.
Scott made three changes to the side which lost at Stamford in midweek. In came Lawrence Gorman, Jordan Wilson and, for his debut, Jack Oldham. Out went Wilfried Gnahore, Eddie Schoenecker (injured) and Kieran Walker (unavailable).
The Poachers, penalty shoot-out winners against Radford in the Extra-Preliminary Round on Tuesday, got off to the perfect start with a goal on five minutes. A long ball played right to left should have caused little difficulty but Fraser Bayliss stole in at the back post to slot home.
Hooton headed at goalkeeper James Lambley as Carlton sought a way back before the Millers levelled on 13 minutes. Danny Elliott’s long ball was flicked on by Hooton to Wilson whose 30-yard half volley flew past Lambley into the corner of the net.
Oldham saw a shot comfortably saved by Lambley before the home side regained the lead on 26 minutes. Another long ball played forward should have been dealt with but the defenders left it, seemingly to a call from Jack Steggles. Will Britton chased the ball and flicked it over the oncoming Steggles into the net.
Shortly before half time Danny Gordon fired just over the bar from 30 yards before the Poachers made it 3-1 right on the half time whistle. Danny Elliott was booked for a bad foul but even though the free kick took some time to take, the Carlton defence still seemed to be asleep as the ball was played down the left to Bayliss. His cross into the penalty area saw Hooton steer the ball into his own net.
Hooton had the ball in the net within two minutes of the restart only to be denied by the linesman’s offside flag.
Lambley then did well to punch away a Gordon cross from under the bar.
At the other end Jordan Nuttell crossed for Britton who couldn’t control the ball in front of an open goal.
Carlton gained a lifeline on 74 minutes when Hooton pulled one back. Wilson played a through ball and Gnahore and Hooton sprung the offside trap. Gnahore took the ball around the goalkeeper and Hooton tapped home to the protests of the home bench, claiming offside.
Forward came Carlton searching for the equaliser. Gordon sent over a corner which Hooton headed wide.
The game’s most controversial moment came in the first minute of added time. Jake Carlisle hit a ball from the corner of the box diagonally to the back post. Hooton ran on to it and slotted home to the delight of the visiting supporters behind the goal. As the Millers regrouped for the kick off the linesman’s flag went up at least 10 seconds after the “goal” for offside. He was wrong but he made his call and the referee went with him.
Hooton was booked for dissent and sent off within a minute for further dissent.
Carlton had one final opportunity in the sixth minute of added time as Brandon Mutibvu volleyed a Daniel Fletcher cross just wide of the goal. It was in reality too little too late yet again in the FA Cup.
Carlton Town: Steggles, Lucas, Fletcher, McNicholas, Carlisle, Gorman, Oldham (Mutibvu 59), Elliott (Gnahore 59), Wilson (Stovell 82), Hooton, Gordon. Unused substitutes: Wallace, Gibbons, Coy, Schoenecker
Goals: Jordan Wilson 13, Aaron Hooton 74; Fraser Bayliss 5, Will Britton 26, Aaron Hooton og 45
Carlton Town Supporters Club MOTM: Danny Gordon