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Match Report: Carlton Town 2 – 4 Brighouse Town

Carlton Town’s miserable home form continued as they were beaten 4-2 by Brighouse Town at Stoke Lane.

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NPL First Division East

7 February 2023

Carlton Town’s miserable home form continued as they were beaten 4-2 by Brighouse Town at Stoke Lane.

The Millers came into the game on the back of two excellent away wins at Mansfield Town and Tadcaster Albion.  They knew a win would more than likely take them out of the relegation zone, as indeed it would have, but they were second best throughout and the defeat meant they lost for a ninth time in 13 home games.  Whilst they may take a little comfort in the fact that they scored twice late in the game and for a short spell looked like they might get back into it, in truth they were a long way short of Brighouse and produced a display fitting with their league position.

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Tommy Brookbanks and Mark Harvey made one change to the side which had beaten Tadcaster, with Richard Stainsby replacing the injured Mikey Emery in goal.

Aaron O’Connor had the first chance of the game on eight minutes but that came to nothing.

In a match in which it was vital for Carlton to keep it tight at the back, given they had shipped four goals in the away fixture to these opponents, it was a blow to go a goal down just a minute later.  A deep cross from Nathaniel Crofts on the left found Mohammed Qasim completely unmarked in the penalty area after Niall Hylton had missed the ball trying to head it clear.  Qasim took full advantage rifling into the roof of the net.

Carlton tried to respond and Khyle Sargent did well to win the ball in midfield and run forward before playing the ball to Alex Howes on the left.  He played the ball into the path of Kyle Tomlin but Tomlin couldn’t reach it on the soft surface and the chance was gone.

Howes then took a quick free kick to send Tomlin away on the right.  His cross was met by Dean Freeman in the area but his shot was deflected over the bar by Aiden Walker.

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Another half chance was created when O’Connor, Niall Davie and Tomlin combined but Brighouse cleared comfortably.  Shortly afterwards Howes hit an effort just wide of goal after some more good work from Sargent.

In the opening minute of the second half Jack Boyle ran clear of the Carlton defence after a simple lofted pass from the back but his attempted lob drew a superb save from Stainsby.

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

Carlton attacked through O’Connor on the left.  He played the ball into Davie whose shot was blocked.  The rebound fell to Howes and he fired towards the corner of the net only to see Brett Souter make an excellent save of his own.

Brighouse went straight on the counter attack and doubled their lead with the softest of goals.  A deep cross from the right should have been caught by Stainsby, but instead he elected to punch under no pressure.  The ball rebounded off Davie into the path of Crofts who gleefully converted into a gaping goal.

Nine minutes later matters got worse as Carlton went three behind when Jack Boyle hit a free kick into the corner of the net with minimal resistance from the defensive wall.

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That prompted a triple substitution for Carlton and one of the those substitutes, Brad Wells, gave the Millers a glimmer of hope when he volleyed home an O’Connor cross that had been flicked on by another substitute Tyler Blake just minutes after coming on.

Mohammed Ibrahim was then sent off with 20 minutes remaining for a dangerous tackle on Tyler Blake just outside the area.  Davie put the resultant free kick over the bar.

Davie then played a lovely ball into the path of O’Connor whose shot drew another excellent save from Souter.  A goal then may have made a real game of it, but instead Brighouse sealed the win with 12 minutes remaining.  Walker picked up a loose pass from Kyle Dixon, ran 50 yards without a challenge and then played the ball left to Crofts.  He cut inside and beat Stainsby at his near post.

There was still time for Davie to score Carlton’s second when he reacted quickest to a Wells free kick that had been blocked, and Wells himself may have scored again in added time when he lifted a shot just over, but there was no escaping the fact that Brighouse had been quicker and sharper all evening.  Carlton know they quickly have to improve at home and have to stop conceding such dreadful goals.

Carlton Town: R Stainsby, L Gorman, N Hylton,  D Brown,  D Freeman, J Holmes (K Dixon 59), A Howes (T Blake 59), K Sargent, N Davie, A O’Connor, N Davie, K Tomlin (B Wells 59). Unused substitutes: P Fountain, J White

Goals: B Wells 67, N Davie 84; Mohammad Qasim 9, Nathaniel Crofts 49, 78, Jack Boyle 58

Carlton Town Supporters Club MOTM – Dan Brown

Att: 124

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