Stocksbridge Park Steels managed to put away Carlton Town in a game not destined to live long in the memory.
The game started with plenty of energy as Stocksbridge tried to attack, the Steels obviously looking to make up for their penalties loss against Maltby Main during the week. But after this initial burst of excitement, the game quietened down and very little of note actually happened. Neither team were able to press forward with success as both sides’ defences remained very solid at the back.
Carlton had the best chance of the first half or at least the only moment that got the fans out of their seats for a second. A foul from Bailey-Tye Baker got the Millers a free kick on the left with it being a perfect opportunity for the ball to whipped into the infamous zone of uncertainty. Kyle Tomlin instead tried to shoot and it almost worked for him as the ball looped onto the bar, before eventually being cleared. This meant it’d be goalless at the break, a fair score line.
In the second half, it was much the same but Carlton edging into the tie with Bradley Wells starting to cause problems for the Stocksbridge defence. But while the Millers were causing problems, Stocksbridge were able to take the lead. The Steels found some space with the break and after the ball was pinged around the box, it was whipped to Tomas Poole whose volley had enough on it to beat Mike Emery.
Getting the opening goal seemed to energize the Stocksbridge team as they looked to press on and seal their victory. They were very close a few minutes later as a Poole free kick was whipped in with pace only for Elliot Murray to come inches from connecting with it. Not long after that, Poole was denied a second after Emery made a smart save only for the rebound to fall to Luke Rawson who could only hit the shot over. Dylan Youmbi also forced Emery to make a save after beating a defender to get into the box.
Carlton certainly weren’t out of the game though as they tried to get back into the game. While they definitely had their moments, usually through Niall Hylton who found himself apart of every Millers attack that looked dangerous, they did struggle to finish. A goalmouth scramble did have Steels hearts in mouths but Stocksbridge looked able to defend what Carlton threw at them.
Stocksbridge were able to get another goal which killed the game off. Lewis Macaskill had beat his man, leaving him on the floor in his wake, before having his shot saved by Emery. Carlton didn’t clear and Rawson latched into it before knocking it back to Kurtis Turner who slotted into into the corner despite a number of Millers defenders being on the line to try and stop it.
Carlton to their credit and rallied and were unlucky not to ruin Ben Townsend’s clean sheet when Jarred Holmes smashed the bar from close range, but Stocksbridge will have been happy with an ugly three points.