NPL First Division East – January 6
Carlton Town moved back into the play off spots as they started 2024 with a bang following a 4-1 win at North Ferriby.
Backed by a superb travelling support of around 50 fans, the Millers dominated the game from start to finish and thoroughly deserved their win. Ferriby did have their moments, as befitted a side who had won seven of the nine home games and who beat Carlton at Stoke Lane back in August, but by the end they finished with nine men after their frustrations got the better of them in the second half.
Mark Harvey and Tommy Brookbanks made two changes to the side which had been beaten by Grimsby Borough last time out. Into the side came Lewis Durow and David Adegbola in place of the absent Niall Hylton and Greg Tempest. The bench featured Dan Brown and Lawrence Gorman, both back in contention after lengthy injury absences.
On a playing surface that was in excellent condition considering the recent weather, the Villagers had the first moment of danger when Danny Earl’s cross from the left flew across the face of goal.
The Millers should have opened the scoring soon afterwards when Khyle Sargent met a Niall Davie free kick unmarked just six yards from goal but he headed just wide.
Carlton did take the lead on 14 minutes with a well-worked goal. Sargent picked up the ball in midfield and played a lovely pass to Davie on the left. His cross found Lamin Manneh who headed past Tom Jackson at his near post.
Eight minutes later Manneh doubled Carlton’s lead. Alex Hardwick sent Manneh away on the left. He ran through on goal slipping past Jack Johnson and his shot found the back of the net despite the efforts of captain Niall Tilsley to keep it out.
Still Carlton kept pushing forward and a fine run by Adegbola on the right led to a Davie shot which was deflected away for a corner. Manneh took it and Dean Freeman flicked onto Hardwick at the far post who headed just over.
Manneh then ran onto a clearance from Felix Annan and got a shot away but Levi Tarbotton was able to clear, before Jackson made another save from the same player.
With just a minute to go before half time Ferriby pulled a goal back. Carlton conceded an unnecessary free kick in the right wing position and were still organizing themselves when the Villagers re-started with a quick free kick. The ball was crossed into Tom Corner who got ahead of his marker and headed into the corner of the net.
The referee indicated three minutes of added time and in the final minute of that period Carlton restored their two goal advantage with an excellent goal. Sargent and Adegbola combined down the right with a couple of lovely passes. Sargent then put his foot on the ball, looked up and slipped a fine pass into Davie. He squared to the oncoming Alex Howes who steered the ball past Jackson to the delight of the travelling support behind the goal.
That goal had the feeling of a match winner, even at that early stage of the game, but the Villagers did start the second half with intent and Annan made an excellent save from Johnson. Manneh was the subject of a number of industrial challenges from Ferriby players and on 50 minutes Danny East was sent off for a second yellow card after another foul on Manneh.
The 10 men did push to try and get back into the game and Tilsley went closest to scoring, hitting the bar with a header. From the resultant corner Carlton broke quickly and Manneh played a lovely pass to send Adegbola away on the right. He sprinted past Harry Wallis before finishing stylishly past Jackson to spark yet more scenes behind the goal.
From then on the game was over as a contest and Carlton had the luxury of being able to bring on Brown and Gorman before the end to get some minutes into their legs. Ferriby’s final indignation was the sending off of Earl for a second yellow card with four minutes remaining following a foul on Sargent.
Hardwick saw a late effort saved by Jackson before the referee ended proceedings and the visiting players and coaches came across to celebrate with the joyous supporters.
Carlton Town: F Annan, R Ebanks, L Durow (D Brown 75), D Freeman, P Dearle, K Sargent, L Manneh, N Davie (M Ford 75), A Hardwick, A Howes (L Gorman 80), D Adegbola. Unused Subs: Z Hill
Goals: L Manneh 14, 22, A Howes 45, D Adegbola 65; Tom Corner 44
Carlton Town Supporters Club MOTM: Lamin Manneh