Lawrence Gorman scored twice as Carlton Town drew 2-2 with promotion chasing Newcastle Town at Stoke Lane.
Gorman, stand-in captain in place of the absent Kieran Walker, scored in either half and also put through his own goal to complete a hatrick of sorts in an eventful afternoon as Carlton started well but were hanging on for a point by the end.
Manager Wayne Scott made two changes to the side which beat Teversal last time out. Both Walker and Daniel Gordon were unavailable, so back into the side came Malachi Lavelle-Moore and Alexander Troke, back on loan from Coalville.
In front of a good crowd boosted by the attendance of parents, staff and pupils from St John the Baptist school, Carlton began well. They had the benefit of a strong wind at their backs and forced Newcastle on the defensive from the start.
Lavelle-Moore headed wide from an excellent position after a cross from Troke in just the fifth minute. Kevin Lusamba then fired high over from 25 yards.
Troke and Newcastle captain James Askey were booked on 10 minutes following an altercation and three minutes later Carlton took the lead.
Troke sent over a corner which was only half cleared and Gorman volleyed into the bottom corner of the net.
Moments later Troke went clean through on goal but he took one touch too many and the chance went.
Lusamba then headed wide from a Troke corner as Carlton dominated.
Newcastle’s first effort came on 21 minutes when Jack Steggles made an excellent stop from a Daniel Cocks free kick.
The visitors then claimed a penalty when Cocks went down under challenge from Jake Carlisle but the referee wasn’t interested.
Back came Carlton and Lusamba shot wide after good work by Lavelle-Moore before Troke shot inches wide after a lovely move involving Niall Davie, Danny Elliott and Lusamba.
Another fine passing move between Carlisle, Elliott, Troke, William Mellors-Blair and Lusamba saw Lavelle-Moore run though on goal on the left hand side. The striker elected to try and pass rather than shoot and the chance was cleared.
Newcastle had the ball in the net deep into first half stoppage time following a fine move but Lee Cropper’s effort was disallowed for offside.
Whatever the Castle manager said at half time it had the desired effect as the visitors were a different proposition with the wind at their backs in the second period.
Luke Askey headed against the bar within 40 seconds of the restart and the visitors were level on 52 minutes.
A deep ball into the area from Chris Baker saw Luke Askey rise highest to head home powerfully.
The momentum was now with Newcastle and Steggles did well to save a free kick from Jordan Cole.
The Staffordshire outfit took the lead on 58 minutes. Carlton’s efforts to deal with a routine ball down the Newcastle left were shambolic and when the ball fell to Cole, his shot hit the post and rebounded against the unfortunate Gorman and over the line.
The Millers surprisingly levelled on 65 minutes with a peach of a goal. Elliott was fouled 30 yards from goal on the left. Jake Wholey’s ball was met by the sweetest of volleys from Gorman who steered the ball into Dave Parton’s right hand corner of the net.
Mellors-Blair then beat Parton to a through ball and only excellent defending by Kyle Blake prevented Carlton from taking the lead.
As the half wore on Carlton dropped ever deeper and Newcastle pushed forward. Cropper put a free header wide after a fine cross by Baker on 78 minutes.
With a couple of minutes left Cole went clean through after good work by Ricky Bridge and Baker. However, with the goal at his mercy, Cole fired high over the bar to the relief of the home support and the anguish of the visitors.
With the game deep in added time Carlton might have stolen the points. Substitute Josh Rae did well to hold up the ball and Carlisle sent over a lovely cross which Troke laid off to Mellors-Blair but the striker hit his effort high over the bar.
Carlton Town: Steggles, Troke, Fletcher, Wholey, Gorman, Carlisle, Mellors-Blair, Elliott, Davie, Lavelle-Moore (Rae 85), Lusamba (Newton 64). Unused subs: Phillips, Stovell, Schoenecker
Goals: Gorman 13, 65; Luke Askey 52, Lawrence Gorman 58 og
Carlton Town Supporters Club MOTM – Lawrence Gorman