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MATCH REPORT: Carlton Town 0-3 Worksop Town

Tommy Brookbanks and Mark Harvey made two changes to the side which had beaten Dunkirk in the Notts Senior Cup in Carlton’s last game almost a month earlier

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NPL First Division East

December 26, 2022

Carlton Town slipped to 18th in the NPL First Division East table following a 3-0 home defeat against Worksop Town.

The Tigers came into the game top of the table following 17 straight wins in the league so Carlton knew it was going to be an extremely difficult test for them.  And to be fair to the Millers, they started very well and put in a decent performance throughout.  But Worksop were simply too strong for Carlton and eased to a comfortable victory.

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Tommy Brookbanks and Mark Harvey made two changes to the side which had beaten Dunkirk in the Notts Senior Cup in Carlton’s last game almost a month earlier.  Back into the side came goalkeeper Mikey Emery and current player of the year Nat Watson in place of Richard Stainsby and Aaron Opoku.  Player coaches Martin Ball and Daryll Thomas had left the club in the intervening period and so were not at Stoke Lane.

Worksop featured ex-Miller Terry Hawkridge, who last played a competitive game at Stoke Lane back in April 2012 in the play-off defeat against Leek Town.  Hawkridge won the NPL young player of the year that season ahead of his transfer to Gainsborough Trinity and subsequent transfers to Scunthorpe Utd, Lincoln City and Notts County.  He also featured in the NPL team of the season that year alongside fellow Miller Ruben Wiggins-Thomas, who was amongst the excellent Boxing Day crowd of 293.

Carlton, playing with a strong wind at their backs, started the better and pushed Worksop back in the opening period of the game.  Niall Davie had the first chance of the game when he collected a Watson pass, sped across the edge of the box and fired a shot which Seb Malkowski saved comfortably.

A lovely Millers passing move involving half the team led to a Niall Hylton corner which was dealt wit by the home defence.

Tommy Brookbanks
PICTURED: Carlton Town manager Tommy Brookbanks (PHOTO: Twitter)

Worksop then countered at pace with the dangerous Jay Rollins crossing to James Hanson whose CV includes over 300 Football League appearances and a League Cup final appearance for Bradford City.  His header struck the crossbar and was cleared.  However, within a minute the Tigers were ahead.  Alek Starcenko found Rollins whose cross was converted by Liam Hughes.

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Another Rollins cross found Hanson with time and space in the penalty area but he fired his shot straight at Emery as Carlton were struggling to hold on.

Hawkridge at this stage was dictating the game, sitting in the space between the midfield and the forwards and hitting angled passes to get the Worksop wide men behind the Carlton defence.  And one such pass to Hughes on 31 minutes led to the second goal when the former Cambridge Utd striker squared to Hanson who fired home.

In truth the game was now over even with an hour to go but Carlton kept their heads and kept trying to force a way back into the match.  Lawrence Gorman headed just wide from a Davie free kick and Davie himself drew a save from Malkowski.

Hanson had the ball in the net early in the second half from another Rollins cross but was denied by an offside flag but Worksop extended their lead on 66 minutes when Hughes took advantage of some hesitant defending to burst clear and finish ruthlessly.

Hawkridge saw a late free kick well saved by Emery as Worksop saw out the remainder of the game in some comfort. 

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Carlton Town: M Emery, K Sargent, N Hylton, L Gorman, D Brown, J Holmes, N Davie, K Dixon, B Wells (A Opoku 46), N Watson (K Tomlin 69), A Howes (L Durow 62). Unused substitutes: R Stainsby, R Tait

Goals: Liam Hughes 17, 66, James Hanson 31

Carlton Town Supporters Club MOTM – Niall Davie

Att: 293

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