Match Report By James Morton
For the second time this season there was a cup upset down at the Bill Stokeld Stadium. This time in favour of Carlton as they overcame Premier Division strugglers Stamford. A late Kieran Walker header was enough to send the Millers into the hat for Monday’s Second Qualifying Round draw.
Carlton took the lead through Anthony Howell, who headed home from the back post. However, just after the break Conor Green placed an impressive header into the corner of the net, unfortunately for the centre back, it was in his own goal. Then just as it seemed a Tuesday night replay was on the cards, Walker decided to put an end to that and sent a bullet header into the back of Richard Knight’s net.
The hosts set out from the start a tempo that was unable to let Stamford settle into the game. A Daniel Gordon free kick forced Knight into a good save in the top left corner of the goal after Romello Nangle was dragged back by Dominic McParr.
Inside ten minutes it seemed Carlton had broke the deadlock as Knight fumbled the ball from a corner, which after bouncing around, was tapped in by Daniel Fletcher, but he was adjudged to have been offside when Josh Rae played the ball to him.
Gordon was then involved in a run down the flank, and after skinning Ellis Myles, he cut inside but his shot rippled into the side netting.
The visitors were also presented with a close chance as McParr met a corner, seeming to be going goal bound; it took a wicked deflection sending it wide of the target.
Gordon seemed to be involved in just about everything for Carlton, and continued to cause more problems down the other end as he tried an effort from distance that went just wide of the post.
When Josh Rae was brought down in a wide left position, Gordon grabbed a vital assist; his free kick was crossed into the box and skipper Anthony Howell leaped up above everyone else and headed the ball into the back of the net.
Just before the break, Gordon had a great chance to double the Millers lead as Conor Green played a fabulous through ball to the left sided player, but when through one-on-one, Gordon was unable to control the ball, and his effort went wide of the target.
After the break Carlton struggled to get going and were caught napping when Jordan Smith whipped in a cross that Green went to head clear, but instead looped into the top corner of their own net, gifting the visitors a way back into the game.
Carlton then stepped up the tempo again, but were limited to clear cut opportunities, with Tom McConway coming close with a shot that looked menacing but was deflected wide of the target. Afew minutes later Kieran Walker had a header down at the near post tipped past the post by Knight for a corner.
The visitors themselves also looked to grab the winner and Smith almost turned from supplier to scorer hen his shot went just wide of the target.
Itwas Carlton who continued to look the most threatening and Rae forced Knight into a cracking save as the midfielder turned his player and blasted the ball at goal, but the Stamford keeper turned the ball behind for a corner. It was from that resulting corner where the goal came from, as Jake Wholey sent the ball into the box, Walker rose and this time his header went straight past Knight and rippled the back of the net.
With the Millers seeing the game out, they now progress to the Second Qualifying Round, for only the second time in the clubs history. There will be keen eyes on the draw that takes place on Monday.
Carlton Town: Steggles, Green, Wholey, Walker, Hodgett-Young, McConway, Rae, Howell (C), Fletcher (Lusamba 88), Nangle (Davie 90+4), Gordon (Graham 75).
Unused Subs: Marshall, Fyfe.
Goal Scorers: Howell 26, Walker 82.
Stamford: Knight, Myles, Fox, Rawdon, McParr, Carr, Hicks, McGowan, Phillips, Challinor (C), Smith.
Subs: Bettley, Richards, Clements, Hassall, Perry.
Goal Scorers: Green OG 53.
Man of the Match: Kieran Walker