Notts FA Senior Cup 2nd Round – November 7
Goals in either half from Lamin Manneh and Alex Hardwick saw Carlton Town safely through to the quarter-finals of the Notts Senior Cup with a comfortable 2-0 win at holders Newark and Sherwood Utd.
The Highwaymen had of course beaten the Millers in last season’s cup final back in May to win the trophy for the first time in their history. That win was fully deserved but both squads are much changed since then and it was clear from the opening minutes of this match that a repeat of that upset was never really on the cards. Indeed, but for some fine saves from home goalkeeper Ross Woolley the margin of victory would have been much greater.
Carlton demonstrated their determination to win the game by naming an unchanged side from the NPL win against Bridlington 10 days earlier. Newark and Sherwood featured ex-Millers Liam Marsden and Niall Towle in their squad.
Within 10 seconds of the kick off Liam Moran scythed down Manneh in what was to become a home side tactic throughout the game. The Millers quickly gained control of the midfield and moved the ball around, almost at will. Hardwick had Carton’s first opportunity following a good run from Niall Hylton but his effort was cleared. Manneh then set up the impressive Ahmed Tahar but he fired just wide.
Alex Howes and Niall Davie were causing the Highwaymen problems with some direct running and Woolley’s first splendid save came from a Howes free kick after Manneh was brought down on the edge of the box.
Newark’s first chance came on 28 minutes when a quick break down the right saw them in plenty of space but Manneh was on hand to cut out a cross and avert the danger. The Millers countered from the resulting corner and David Adegbola flicked onto Manneh who sped down the right before crossing just beyond Hylton.
The Millers opened the scoring on 32 minutes with a very soft goal from a Newark point of view. Lewis Durow, who had a fine game, sent Manneh away on the left with a long ball. Woolley rushed out to clear but, outside of his area, he could only head the ball straight into Manneh’s chest. The ball dropped nicely for the Carlton man who took a touch before tapping into the unguarded goal.
Shortly before half time Woolley made another wonderful save, this time tipping a Howes 25-yard effort over the bar before Hardwick headed inches wide at the back post.
Early in the second half Felix Annan made a fine save from Moran as the Highwaymen looked to get a foothold in the game but by 54 minutes it was effectively game over as Carlton doubled their lead. Adegbola won the ball in right midfield and that led to some clever interplay with Manneh and Tahar. The ball eventually ended up with Davie, who slipped it to Hardwick. He played a quick one-two with Howes before firing into the roof of the net from a tight angle on the right side of the penalty area. Hardwick celebrated with the joyous visiting supporters behind the goal and received the bonus of DJ Dan’s marshmallow-infused hot chocolate all over his shirt.
Carlton made some substitutions, including a debut for Oliver Seeby, and dropped off the pace a little which allowed the home side more involvement in the game. But the new centre half pairing of Lamin Sisawo-Danso and Peter Dearle rarely looked in any difficulty and Newark’s best chance arose after Annan gave the ball away when trying to pass out of goal but he made up for the error with an excellent stop from Towle.
By then Woolley had made another super stop from Howes and Musa Jawara had gone close late on as Carlton saw out the game without any further problems. At the final whistle the players came across to thank the excellent travelling support for their efforts while the home side were very gracious in defeat and have an FA Vase tie to look forward to.
Carlton Town: F Annan, D Adegbola, L Durow, L Sisawo-Danso (S Thompson-Harris 85), P Dearle, A Tahar, L Manneh (O Seeby 85), N Davie (M Ford 64), A Hardwick (M Jawarra 78), A Howes, N Hylton. Unused subs: D Freeman
Goals: L Manneh 32, A Hardwick 54
Carlton Town Supporters Club MOTM: Lamin Manneh