NPL First Division East – 26 August 2023
A Danny Earl second half brace condemned Carlton to their first league defeat this season.
In a sometimes scrappy encounter, it looked as if a Greg Tempest free kick early in the second half was going to be enough to take the points but Earl’s swift strikes saw the Villagers take the points back to the north bank of the Humber.
Tommy Brookbanks and Mark Harvey made two changes to the side which had beaten Winterton in midweek. Michael Ford started in place of Khyle Sargent who wasn’t involved and Lamin Manneh led the line as Musa Jawarra dropped to the bench.
North Ferriby arrived at Stoke Lane on the back of a 4-0 midweek defeat to Belper and perhaps that still weighed on the minds of the visitors as they were cagey to start. Carlton on the other hand were full of energy and had a good amount of possession. David Adegbola, who carried a constant threat down the right, was the first to break the Ferriby line and deliver a fine cross into the box which found Manneh. Manneh’s shot was almost turned into his own goal by Keegan Green as he headed clear. Carlton continued to work the channels and there was space for Hylton too without a really clear chance.
North Ferriby had some threat, especially from the immense throw ins from right back Josh Dennett but the Millers defence and goalkeeper Felix Annan dealt with the high ball well. Earl from the right and Amir Berchill from the left were increasingly lively but generally without an end product and often beaten by the linesman’s flag.
Ford was having a good game in the middle and played a neat pass to Niall Hylton on the edge of the box. Hylton turned his man expertly but, in front of goal, blazed well over. Hylton was involved again shortly afterwards in the best move of the half as he hustled well to recover the ball in a dangerous area, fed Tempest whose excellent pass had Manneh running free in the inside left. His cross found Alex Howes but his shot lacked power and was straight at Tom Jackson in the Villagers goal.
Hylton again involved himself in the most controversial event of the half as he read a back pass well and got to the ball first and appeared to be bundled into from behind by the North Ferriby stopper. The referee was unconvinced and waved the claims away to the astonishment of the Shed End.
Further controversy followed in the final minutes of the half as Danny East cleared raised a high boot and connected with the head of Michael Ford who was down for several minutes receiving treatment to a nasty head injury. A yellow was deemed suitable recourse. Ford had to be replaced by Niall Davie. Davie immediately brought energy to the game and he and Howes harassed the North Ferriby midfield to give up the ball and released Lamin Manneh whose shot was straight at the keeper.
Buoyed by their dominance of the first half, Carlton started the second half well and had to wait only five minutes before their endeavours were rewarded. It was, however the oddest of goals as Greg Tempest fired in a free kick from the right side and whilst on target, looked to be covered by Jackson. The keeper though spilled the ball behind him and into the goal.
The goal, instead of driving on the Millers had energising effects on the visiting side. Earl began to exploit space down the right and was rewarded with time to strike at goal which was well directed and low but Annan in the Carlton goal was well behind it.
Berchill and Green made way for Danny Emerton and Omar Sanyang for North Ferriby as Adegbola made way, somewhat unfortunately given his performance, for Musa Jawarra around the hour mark.
Carlton had another good chance following a corner breaking down. Tempest recycled the ball well and found Dean Freeman in the box who fed Manneh but the striker’s cross was tamely headed at goal by Hylton.
Soon after the away side were on level terms. A good cross field pass from Tom Claisse found the head of Tom Corner who had the presence of mind to nod the ball into the path of the onrushing Earl who powered a header past Annan.
Jawarra almost restored the Millers lead immediately from kick off as he smashed a superb shot from fully 25 yards out and only a brilliant save from Jackson denied the striker as he tipped the shot over the bar.
North Ferriby took the lead following more good work on the left from Corner who again found Earl in the Carlton box in space and he clinically prodded home from close range.
Zac Hill replaced Howes in the final Carlton change and only minutes later was running free bearing down on goal. Jawarra was in support in the centre but the youngster was caught in two minds and missed the chance to shoot before misplacing his pass to his teammate as the chance went begging.
As the clocked ticked down Carlton threw bodies forward, Freeman a makeshift centre forward as the game went increasingly long ball. Durow created a good chance for Manneh who struck his shot well but the distance was against him and it didn’t threaten the keeper.
In the dying embers of the game a goalmouth scramble presented a final chance to Hill just eight yards out. He elected for power and although the shot struck the head of a defender and flew harmlessly over it didn’t look to be on target from the start.
Carlton have just a couple of days to refocus and recover as they hit the road again to face Grimsby Borough on bank holiday Monday before the cup competitions take priority for a couple of weeks.
Carlton Town: F Annan, S Thompson-Harris, L Durow, D Brown, D Freeman, G Tempest, D Adegbola (M Jawarra 61), M Ford (N Davie 42), L Manneh, A Howes (Z Hill 75), N Hylton. Unused subs: N Liburd-Hines, L Gorman
Goals: G Tempest 50; Danny Earl 64, 70
Carlton Town Supporters Club MOTM: Dan Brown