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Match Report: Ossett Utd 1 – 2 Carlton Town FC

The Millers moved out of the relegation zone for the first time in four months thanks to this fourth successive away win

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NPL First Division East

21 March 2023

Carlton Town’s recent revival continued apace with a 2-1 away win at Ossett Utd.

The Millers moved out of the relegation zone for the first time in four months thanks to this fourth successive away win and they now have it within their own hands to pull clear of the drop zone as the season enters its final month.

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This was a monumental effort by the Millers.  Four away games in 15 days has clearly tested the physical and mental capacity of the entire squad and they have excelled themselves.  They were dead on their feet by the end of this game with Niall Davie barely able to walk and all substitutes used, but they still had too much for an Ossett side who are not entirely safe themselves.

Managers Mark Harvey and Tommy Brookbanks made four changes to the side which had won at Cleethorpes last time out.  Lawrence Gorman and Louis Durow were absent, Jared Holmes was injured and Kyle Tomlin dropped to the bench.  Into the side came Niall Hylton, Kyle Dixon, Danny Elliott and Charlie Marzano.  Marzano played at right back in the absence of Gorman and Khyle Sargent.

The Millers set off on the front foot and Davie was desperately close with an angled drive inside the first 30 seconds which just missed the post.

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

Ossett seemed sluggish in the early stages of the game and the Millers took the lead on eight minutes.  A lovely piece of play between Alex Howes and Dixon saw the latter run to the goal line before crossing into the danger area.  Ossett failed to clear and Davie gleefully fired home from 12 yards to the delight of the decent travelling support behind the goal.

The goal seemed to wake up the home side and Mikey Emery made a superb double save from an Ossett attack just a couple of minutes later.

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Carlton were dealt a blow on 17 minutes when Hylton had to go off injured.  He was replaced by Tomlin who had to play in the unfamiliar position of left back.

Emery had to be alert to cut out a dangerous ball on 20 minutes with Alex Peterson waiting to pounce, while Derry Robson, a handful all night, fired wide from a good position soon afterwards.

The Millers looked a little off the pace and Dean Freeman was having an excellent game at the back dealing with the Ossett aerial threat.  Carlton however did create opportunities and Davie saw an effort blocked when a pass to the unmarked Howes may have been the better option.

Tomlin and Davie then combined to create a chance for Alex Troke but he fired over the top.

Marzano was having an effective game at right back and he began a move involving Nat Watson and Davie which saw Howes hit a fierce drive that drew an excellent save from Paul Cooper in the Ossett goal.

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Cooper was at it again shortly before half time when Troke turned superbly and hit a shot headed for the top corner only for Cooper to deny him.

There was still time for Marzano to send over a corner which found Watson at the back post.  His header looked a certain goal until Craig Nelthorpe cleared off the line at the back post. And still there was more when Cooper saved another Watson header following a Freeman throw-in.

Elliott had a run and shot saved early in the second half as Carlton looked to get a cushion but the home side levelled on 58 minutes when Danny South sent a looping header into the corner of the net from a free kick.

Carlton responded immediately and Davie finished a lovely move with a drive the skimmed the top of the crossbar.

The Millers were clearly going for the win and Aaron O’Connor was brought on for his first action in a month.  He was involved immediately, drawing a decent save from Cooper with Dixon hitting the rebound over the top.

A few minutes later Dixon put another effort over after South had missed the ball from a throw-in.

The Millers continued to work like Trojans, with Dan Brown and Freeman dealing with the threat down the middle, Tomlin and Marzano covering the wings and all of the midfield covering tremendous amounts of the pitch.

Troke was using his strength and ability to hold up the ball and keep possession whenever it was played into his feet and Davie was his usual non-stop self.

Ollie Wilson came on for an exhausted Elliott with 12 minutes remaining and six minutes later Carlton got what turned out to be the winning goal.  Freeman sent a long throw into the area from the left wing position.  South cleared it but only back to Freeman.  He sent over a superb first time cross which was met by a sublime cushioned header from O’Connor back across the goal and into the corner of the net to set off scenes amongst the Millers faithful.

Davie was clearly injured by now but with no substitutes left he persevered and the Millers dug in through the final six minutes and five long minutes of added time.  They should have added to their lead three minutes into the period when O’Connor ran clear of the defence and rounded Cooper, but saw his shot cleared off the line by the covering Luke Hogg.

It mattered not and a delighted squad came across to celebrate with an equally delighted following at the end of another exhausting encounter.

Carlton Town: M Emery, C Marzano, N Hylton (K Tomlin 17), D Brown, D Freeman, D Elliott (O Wilson 78), K Dixon, N Davie, A Troke, N Watson, A Howes (A O’Connor 64). Unused substitutes: R Stainsby, J Holmes

Goals: N Davie 8, A O’Connor 84; Danny South 58

Carlton Town Supporters Club MOTM – Dean Freeman

Att: 252

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