Soham Town Rangers 0-6 Carlton Town (Northern Premier League Midlands Division) 23.10.21
Carlton Town moved to second in the table with an emphatic 6-0 win at Soham Town Rangers.
The margin of victory coupled with defeat for leaders Halesowen Town saw the Millers leapfrog Chasetown but those three sides now have 30 points and are separated only by goal difference, with Ilkeston Town and Coleshill Town within three points of the top three.
On a pleasant afternoon in Cambridgeshire Carlton were totally dominant and could indeed have scored more. Soham never stopped trying despite the score line and it was clear that they had some injury problems amongst their squad. Nonetheless, they were very much second best to an excellent Millers side who moved the ball delightfully and caused their opponents problems all afternoon.
Managers Tommy Brookbanks and Mark Harvey made just one change from the team which had beaten Loughborough Dynamo last time out, with Tyler Johal replacing Daniel Fletcher at left back.
On a fine playing surface and backed by a large and vocal travelling support making the longest journey of the season, the Millers began on the front foot and Tyler Blake had the ball in the net on 15 minutes only for an offside flag to deny him.
It was only delaying the inevitable and Carlton opened the scoring on 23 minutes from the penalty spot. Blake, who was excellent all afternoon, was involved in the move that led to Lawrence Gorman playing the ball to Khyle Sargent. Sargent ran into the area and was brought down by Ryan Auger for a clear penalty. Captain Tom Maddison stepped up and sent goalkeeper Niall Conroy the wrong way.
A lovely pass from Dan Brown sent Niall Davie away on the left. He cut inside Warren McSkelly and crossed to Sargent whose shot was blocked by a Soham defender.
The Millers doubled their lead on the half hour with a well-worked goal. Kieran Preston’s pin point clearance was flicked on by Blake into the path of Davie. He sped away down the left before crossing to Kieran Knight who followed up his hat trick against Loughborough with a confident first time shot that flew into the net.
Soham enjoyed a rare moment of pressure shortly afterwards and Joe Carden forced Preston into a fine save as the keeper tipped his fierce shot over the crossbar.
With the game in first half added time the Millers effectively secured the win with their third goal. Another accurate Preston delivery found Knight on the half way line. He showed delightful touch with instant control and a turn that allowed him to send Blake sprinting away on goal. The striker held off the attentions of Alfie Connor and rifled a shot into the corner of the net from the edge of the box in front of the jubilant travelling supporters.
It was clear that home goalkeeper Conroy was struggling with a leg injury but Soham had no substitute goalkeeper in their squad. They were forced to replace Conroy at half time with player-manager Rob Mason, a striker.
Carlton also made a change, bringing off Martin Ball who was on a yellow card and had already had a final warning from the referee, and replacing him with Toby Moore.
Soham’s best spell of the game came in the period immediately after half time and Johal headed a Sam Bennett shot off the line before Preston made a fine save from Ben Seymour-Shove. However, Carlton always looked like they could score more goals and when Maddison played a lovely ball into the path of Knight he looked certain to score but his lob over goalkeeper Mason lacked power and the keeper was able to recover and save.
A measure of the strength in depth of the Millers squad at the moment was that having already brought on Moore, the managers were able to bring on Aaron Opoku and Danny Elliott during the second half to cause Soham even more problems. That meant that this week there was no game for Louis Czerwak, another player who would clearly have brought yet more quality to this team.
Opoku’s impact was almost immediate as he made it 4-0 on 70 minutes. A Moore ball to Nat Watson saw Watson feed Opoku and he made no mistake from close range.
Blake then headed inches wide from a Watson corner before Opoku grabbed his second and Carlton’s fifth on 82 minutes, receiving a Johal throw-in and turning his marker before rifling home from 12 yards.
Opoku was then brought down by Jon Kaye when looking to control another Watson cross for Carlton’s second penalty of the game. Once again Maddison stepped up and once again he converted to make it 6-0.
Opoku almost grabbed a hat trick a minute later when he ran onto a Davie pass and fired against the post with Mason beaten.
The referee soon ended Soham’s misery and the players came across to applaud the efforts of the travelling support who, as always, responded in kind.
Carlton Town: Preston, Gorman, Johal, Ball (Moore 46), Brown, Maddison, Watson, Sargent (Elliott 66), Knight (Opoku 59), Blake, Davie.
*Article provided by Sky Blue Miller.
*Main image @puffpuff65 Soham Town FC’s Julius Martin Lane ground.