Carlton Town 4-2 Corby Town (Northern Premier League East Division) 27.11.21
Alex Howes scored twice on his first start as Carlton Town moved back into the top five with a comfortable 4-2 win against Corby Town.
Thanks to Jon Hartstone for his assistance with this report.
In a game played in Arctic conditions the Millers took their time to get going, but by the second half they were in total control and really ought to have another couple of goals to reflect their superiority.
Mark Harvey and Tommy Brookbanks made just the one change to the side which had drawn at Chasetown last time out, with Howes, a recent loan arrival from Basford, replacing Niall Davie, who went off with concussion against the Scholars and as a result has a mandatory two-week period before he is allowed to play again.
Corby had the first clear chance of the game when Callum Westwood met a cross from the left with a fierce shot that drew a superb save from Kieran Preston.
The Millers responded and a couple of minutes later Tyler Blake went through one-on-one but goalkeeper Matt Hall was able to save.
Carlton opened the scoring on 28 minutes with a well-worked goal. Blake found Nat Watson on the left and he advanced before hitting a low drive into the bottom corner of the net.
Watson almost doubled the lead shortly afterwards with an audacious overhead kick the missed the post by inches.
The Steelmen levelled with 10 minutes of the half remaining when Conner Fury’s long-range effort deceived Preston and crept over the line.
The Millers, playing into the strong wind, kept pushing forward and Aaron Opoku hit an effort just beyond the post before Howes put Carlton back in front on the stroke of half time. Tyler Johal fed Watson on the left. He left three Corby defenders in his wake before crossing to Howes who fired home.
Carlton brought on Toby Moore for Lawrence Gorman at half time, with Dan Brown moving to right back.
Bar the occasional Corby move, the second half was one way traffic as the Millers repeatedly attacked and peppered the visitors’ goal. Opoku was first to have a go, seeing his shot blocked after an excellent run with Khyle Sargent hitting the follow-up over the bar.
Johal then hit a cross from the left that caught the wind and only just dropped over the bar with Hall stranded.
Howes made it 3-1 on 58 minutes with the goal of the game. There seemed little danger when the midfielder picked up the ball on the half way line but a clever touch saw him clear of his marker. He then ran 25 yards with Corby defenders all backing off before hitting a scorching drive from outside the area into the bottom left corner of Hall’s goal. It was a superb goal.
It was Watson’s turn next as he saw Hall make a comfortable save from his header after a Brown run and cross.
Toby Moore wrapped up the win on 66 minutes, heading home unmarked from close range after being set up following a delightful run and cross from Howes.
Opoku should have scored five minutes later when he headed a Watson corner just over the bar from six yards out before Howes was inches away from getting a hattrick after yet another fine ball from Watson.
Howes then turned provider sending over a delicious cross which a diving Watson just failed to connect with as he attempted a Keith Houchen-esque diving header.
Corby had offered nothing in the second half up to that point, with the defence marshalled excellently by Martin Ball keeping them at arms-length, but they did have a couple of openings in the final two minutes.
On 88 minutes a corner from the left was headed against the bar by Elliot Sandy and then in the final minute of the game Josh Flanagan headed home to give the visiting support a little late consolation.
This was though a fine performance by the home side and they left the pitch to fully-merited applause from the very decent home crowd on such a cold day.
Carlton Town: Preston, Gorman (Moore 46), Johal, Ball, Brown, Holmes, Watson, Sargent (Maddison 66), Opoku (Matthews 73), Blake, Howes.
Corby Town: Hall, Flanagan, Apindia (Gee 82), White, Hartley, Mulligan, Westwood (O’Brien 54), Curtis, Sandy, Diggin, Furey.
Venue: Bill Stokeld Stadium (186)
*Article provided by Sky Blue Miller.
*Main image @stevemack2017 Moore heads goalwards to help Carlton take victory over Corby.