A last gasp stunner from Joe Danby condemned Carlton Town to a fifth home defeat in six league games as they lost 2-1 to Pickering Town.
This was yet another self-inflicted loss by the Millers who had done enough to earn a point only to gift opponents who have a habit of scoring late goals the chance to do so again, which Danby took in style.
On a windy day Carlton started the sharper. On just five minutes Riece Bertram hit a spectacular overhead kick following a Bartle corner which drew a superb save from Pickering’s Hull City Under 23s goalkeeper Charlie Andrew.
Andrew was called into action again a few minutes later when Austin flicked Jacob Spence’s pass onto Aaron Opoku. The striker outpaced George Bissett before firing fiercely to Andrew’s right, only for the keeper to make another excellent save.
The Pikes came more into the game and Spence was called upon to make two excellent blocks to prevent clear chances for the visitors.
Opoku fired just over before Pickering had their only effort of the first half, with Jack Steggles saving comfortably from Bissett.
Scott brought on Ben Hutchinson for Austin at half time but it was Pickering who started the second half the better and took the lead on 51 minutes. A Carlton attack broke down and the Pikes advanced down the middle. The ball was played right to Billy Logan who got into the area without a challenge and fired across Steggles into the corner of the net.
The Millers almost equalised within 60 seconds when a Hutchinson shot was tipped over the bar by Andrew.
Scott brought on Joe Brothwell but it was the Pikes who had regained the initiative and they thought they’d doubled their lead on 72 minutes. Brad Freer cut in from the right and slipped the ball past Steggles and towards the net. Spence continued to chase the ball and managed to make a fantastic goal line clearance with Pickering claiming forlornly that the ball had gone over the line.
Another Pickering effort from a corner was cleared from under the cross bar as Carlton hung on.
The Millers took advantage of those clearances moments later when Brothwell equalised with his first goal for Carlton in four years. There seemed relatively little danger when a long Bartle throw landed in the middle of the penalty area. However, it was allowed to bounce as no defender claimed it and Brothwell reacted quickest, heading home at the far post.
Carlton pushed forward for a winner, and Scott brought on Kyke Stovell, but as the game entered three minutes added time it was Pickering who had the momentum. This is a team who scored three late goals to draw with Frickley having been 4-1 down with four minutes remaining so Carlton must have been aware of their late goal threat.
Steggles tried to get Carlton on the attack with a quick release to Bartle but he lost possession and when Pickering advanced again Rollinson brought down Logan on the edge of the box. It was a bad free kick to give away and Danby duly punished the Millers, firing into the top corner to give Steggles no chance.