Carlton Town 2-1 Coleshill Town (Northern Premier League Midlands Division) 02.10.21
Goals in either half from Kieran Knight and Tom Maddison saw Carlton Town move above Coleshill Town with a 2-1 win in a top of the table clash at the Bill Stokeld stadium.
In a game played in pouring rain throughout, both sides finished with 10 men following late red cards which themselves followed a rash of yellow cards. Yet this was by no means a dirty game – both teams played some excellent football despite the conditions and gave the 100 hardy souls who braved the weather some excellent entertainment.
It was also noticeable how well the pitch held up following the investment made in the summer and is an encouraging sign ahead of the winter months.
Managers Tommy Brookbanks and Mark Harvey made two changes to the side which had won at Wisbech Town last time out, with Tyler Blake and Daniel Fletcher returning for Daryll Thomas and Tyler Johal. Both Aaron Opoku and Nat Watson were still missing. That meant a home debut for the recent arrival from Eastwood Community, Kieran Knight.
Coleshill came into the game in second place in the table, above the Millers on goal difference, having won all five of their away games so far.
The Millers began the better and had a strong first minute penalty appeal turned down when a visiting defender appeared to handle the ball. Fletcher then almost opened the scoring on 16 minutes when his cross almost sailed straight into the net, with goalkeeper Paul Hathaway having to be alert to prevent a goal.
But Coleshill imposed themselves and had the better of the remainder of the first half, with Fletcher clearing off the line from Sam Moore and then blocking an effort from the impressive Kia Tonge.
Maddison played a lovely ball to send Knight clean through but the striker’s touch let him down and the chance was cleared.
Millers goalkeeper Kieran Preston then made a superb save from Joe Phillips to keep the visitors at bay.
Coleshill were moving the ball well despite the conditions, and only some sterling defending from the Millers was keeping them at bay, with Deon Meikle and Dan Brown outstanding.
It was Carlton who opened the scoring on 41 minutes against the run of play when Knight controlled a Louis Czerwak pass after some impressive work from Blake and held off Niall Rowe before slipping the ball delightfully past Hathaway and into the net.
As the rain eased off a little, Carlton started the second half much better and there were early opportunities for Knight and Tyler Blake, with Knight heading a Fletcher cross just over the bar and Blake just failing to get on the end of a superb Lawrence Gorman cross.
At the other end Sam Moore lifted an effort just wide of goal after a fine Coleshill move.
The Millers doubled their lead from a Tom Maddison penalty on 61 minutes after Blake was fouled by Rowe, but substitute George Washbourne pulled one back almost immediately with a neat finish from 12 yards.
Coleshill continued to press looking for the equaliser but the Carlton defence saw off the threat relatively comfortably, with a ferocious amount of work being undertaken by the defenders and the midfield in negating the visitors’ threat.
With four minutes remaining Kieran Donnelly was sent off for Coleshill for something he said following an altercation with Tolani Omotola, but the Colemen were not giving up their second place in the table without a fight and Washbourne drew an excellent save from Preston as the game entered added time.
There was still time for Meikle to be sent off for a second yellow card that looked harsh to say the least and from Washbourne’s resulting free kick Brown headed clear before Preston made yet another top-draw save to secure the points for the Millers.
As the final whistle went it was clear the players were delighted with the win and they came across to applaud the efforts of the drenched home support behind the goal.
Carlton Town: Preston, Gorman, Fletcher, Brown, Meikle, Holmes (Ball 88), Czerwak (Elliott 68), Maddison, Thomas, Knight (Omotola 68), Davie.
*Article provided by Sky Blue Miller.
*Main image @CarltonFans Tom Maddison scores the winner from the penalty spot.