After the drama of Tuesday’s late, late defeat at Loughborough, the Millers returned to standard fare with a 4-0 loss to Brighouse Town.
Carlton have been on a dreadful run of form and without an away point or clean sheet since early January, little was expected at play-off contenders Brighouse.
The Millers began well enough and had a stonewall penalty denied them when still just one goal behind. But the home side always looked stronger and the game was over as a contest long before the end.
On a bone-hard surface Carlton began reasonably well but Brighouse had the first chance. Thomas Robinson got behind the Millers defence to cross dangerously. Toby Moore did well to cut it out but from the resulting corner Aaron Martin put a free header over the bar.
The opening goal came on 25 minutes. Zephania Thomas darted down the left and crossed into the box. Moore missed his kick and the ball fell to Robinson who smashed home unmarked from close range, albeit Jack Steggles almost kept it out in what would have been the most astonishing save.
Carlton should have been awarded a penalty six minutes later. The linesman had already flagged for a couple of free kicks, one to each side, for relatively innocuous pushes. On this occasion a Ben Hutchinson free kick was about to be headed by Oliver Clark when he was absolutely totalled by Reece Kendall, who came charging through the back of Clark and sent him crashing to the ground. It was the clearest penalty you could wish to see and the linesman had a perfect view of it but he remained motionless.
Brighouse resumed their attacking and a lovely feint by Martin took out two defenders before his shot drew an excellent save from Steggles.
Rollinson and Ryan Ebanks combined to create an opportunity for Ben Hutchinson but his shot was comfortably saved by Jordan Porter.
Any hopes Carlton had of getting back into the match relied on them keeping the score at 1-0 going into halftime. However, that aim was dashed on 42 minutes when the home side doubled their lead.
A ball down the left saw Gabriel Johnson beat the offside trap. With the Carlton defence out of position, Johnson crossed to Martin who fired home from inside the area.
Early in the second half Hutchinson was floored by Kendall in a similar manner to Oliver Clark but, as this was just outside the area, the officials had no hesitation in awarding a free kick. Hutchinson took the free kick and a dangerous delivery was eventually cleared for a corner.
At the other end Johnson hit a fierce shot from the edge of the box which was well saved by Steggles.
Kyle Stovell had been brought on at half time for the injured Oliver Clark and he fed Riece Bertram who had made a fine overlapping run and whipped in a delightful cross towards Tyler Blake. Rarmani Edmonds-Green got to the ball ahead of Blake but could only volley it towards his own goal and looked on with relief as his effort cannoned off the post and was cleared.
Any lingering Carlton hoped were extinguished on 65 minutes when Brighouse scored a third. Martin crossed from the right to find substitute Thomas Haigh in far too much space and he drilled the ball low into the corner of the net.
Eight minutes later Brighouse scored again with a copycat strike. This time it was another substitute, Mohammed Ibrahim, who crossed from the right to find Martin who had time to turn, take a touch and smash a shot past Steggles.
Martin should have scored his hattrick late on when he found himself unmarked after a good move down the right but he blazed high over the bar.
In added time Aaron Opoku and Blake, both of whom had worked tirelessly during the game, broke but Edmonds-Green cut out the chance and at the death Martin was denied his hattrick again when he hit the post.
At the final whistle only Ebanks acknowledged the travelling supporters behind the goal, baking away watching yet another defeat. His gesture was appreciated notwithstanding the result.
Carlton Town: Steggles, Ebanks, Frost, Bertram, E Clarke, Moore, Rollinson, O Clark (Stovell 46), Blake, Hutchinson, Opoku. Unused subs: McNicholas
Goals: Thomas Robinson 25, Aaron Martin 42, 73, Thomas Haigh 65
Carlton Town Supporters Club MOTM: Aaron Opoku
Attendance – 248