NPL First Division East – November 25
Second half goals from Scott Fenwick and Jack Gibbons saw Carlton defeated 2-1 at Consett.
The Millers did pull a goal back in added time through substitute Zac Hill but they were unable to fashion an equaliser as they lost for the third time in the North East this season. To add to Carlton’s disappointment, striker Lamin Manneh was sent off after the game for something he said to the referee and now faces a three game suspension.
In a tight hard-fought contest the first goal was always going to be pivotal and the Millers will be disappointed about the manner in which Consett scored both their goals. But the team’s defensive record is up there with the best in the division. The real issue is that, even though the side are having a fine season, they don’t score enough goals. Only two teams have scored less than Carlton’s 19 goals this season and even allowing for the fact that the Millers have games in hand on most sides, their spells of dominance should have resulted in more goals. Indeed, Carlton had by far the best two chances of the first half but missed them both and ultimately paid the price.
Tommy Brookbanks and Mark Harvey made two changes to the side which had beaten Brighouse last time out with Khyle Sargent and Michael Ford coming in for the injured pair of Shea Thompson-Harris and Ahmed Tahar. Manneh played up front with Sargent at right back.
On a bitterly cold afternoon there was little to choose between the sides in the opening 45 minutes. Manneh played an early cross into David Adegbola who took a lovely touch before firing inches wide of the far post when he might have done better.
Consett’s main method of attack was early crossfield passing to switch the focus of the attacks, but Sargent and Lewis Durow were dealing with the wide threat well. Adegbola and Manneh were causing some problems for the home defence without the Millers having too many chances.
One move saw Sargent, Manneh, Alex Howes and Niall Davie combine before the latter fired wide. Dean Freeman then headed a Davie corner over the bar shortly before Carlton’s best chance of the half. A lovely ball from Howes sent Adegbola clean through on goal but James Anderson made a superb save from the Carlton wide man. The rebound fell to Manneh but he couldn’t get his shot away and when the ball eventually reached Davie, he lifted his shot over the bar.
Felix Annan was called upon to make a good save from Ryan McKinnon as the half ended and early in the second half Carlton received a blow when Sargent had to go off injured. That meant Musa Jawarra came on with Adegbola dropping to right back and Manneh dropping into midfield.
Consett took advantage and opened the scoring six minutes later. Carlton failed to deal with an attack down the left and when the ball eventually reached Kaleb Young on the right, his cross was met by a volley from the unmarked Fenwick into the corner of the net.
Consett then had their best spell of the game and Wil Shaw fired wide when clean though on goal. The Millers replied with Jawarra drawing another fine save from Anderson.
Annan had to be quickly off his line to deny Zak Atkinson and Carlton brought on Hill and Lamin Sisawo-Danso to try and get an equaliser, with Dean Freeman playing up front. It was Consett who scored again though, when Adegbola’s attempted clearance went straight to Gibbons who duly converted from 12 yards.
Moments later a fantastic touch from Hill saw him bear down on Anderson’s goal but his attempted lob flew over the bar to the despair of the 10 away fans behind the goal.
With the game deep into added time Hill did pull a goal back, running onto a lovely ball from Adegbola and rifling past Anderson from a tight angle. There was then some controversy when the referee blew for full time two minutes later as Jawarra was running clear on goal. Manneh in particular wasn’t happy, especially as he had had to receive treatment a few minutes earlier for what looked like a kick to the head. News came through after the game that he had been sent off after the final whistle.
The players led by Durow came across to thank the small band of fans for their unstinting support in the North East again. It was appreciated as always.
Carlton Town: F Annan, K Sargent (M Jawarra 53), L Durow, D Freeman, P Dearle, M Ford (L Sisawo-Danso 77), D Adegbola, N Davie, L Manneh, A Howes, N Hylton (Z Hill 69). Unused subs: D Brown
Goals: Z Hill 90+5; Scott Fenwick 59, Jack Gibbons 80
Carlton Town Supporters Club MOTM: Alex Howes