Division One South
Carlton Town 3
Belper Town 2
A CONTROVERSIAL injury time penalty denied Belper Town and their new manager Peter Duffield a point in his first game in charge, but the club can now hopefully look forward to an era of prosperity after a turbulent week
Duffield’s appointment only a few days earlier left him little time to asses the players he had inherited, but he was bolstered by former assistant manager Jon Froggatt’s decision to play and in the end only Mark Camm left the club immediately after Tommy Taylor’s departure.
There were two new faces in the Nailers’ starting line up with Corey Gregory joining from Sheffield United and Colin Marrison from Stocksbridge Park Steels.
Aaron Pride’s late arrival meant a last minute change with Andy Rushbury stepping up, and Tom Turner deputised in goal for Andy Richmond who was on holiday.
Ruben Wiggins-Thomas lined up for the visitors as Carlton’s biggest home crowd of the season, swelled by a sizeable travelling support turned up to witness this local derby fixture.
The Nailers started well with Jon Froggatt heading a 3rd minute corner just wide and then Lee Morris, who had a good game for the Nailers sent Danny Marshall sprawling to his right as he attempted to squeeze an 18 yard shot just inside the post from a Froggatt assist.
Ian Brown sent a weak shot straight at Tom Turner on 15 minutes but at this stage the game had become very scrappy with the uncertain bounce not aiding good football.
After a longish spell without any goal mouth action the Millers suddenly took the lead in the 28th minute when arguably the best player on the pitch, Terry Hawkridge, crossed for Ashley Grayson to head past Tom Turner into the bottom corner.
The Nailers tried to raise their game after this and the equaliser came after 36 minutes after Jon Froggatt headed on a long ball down the middle, and Lee Morris proceeded to execute one of the best strikes of the season so far.
Moving away from goal and at an angle, he managed to hook the ball over Marshall and into the far corner of the net and fully deserved the plaudits of his teammates.
It continued to be a very even game but with half time looming, they allowed the Millers to take a half time lead when Ashley Grayson latched on to Terry Hawkridge’s 45th minute free kick and scored with a shot off the underside of the cross bar.
The Nailers made an encouraging start to the second period and were level once again in the 48th minute.
Jon Froggatt provided the assist again with a curling pass that found Colin Marrisson on the left side of the penalty area, and he calmly brought the ball under control before guiding it past the ‘keeper and into the far corner of the net.
From then on it was anybodies game but as the half wore on Terry Hawkridge and Josh Thornton became more and more influential for the home side.
Hawkridge brought a fine save out of Tom Turner with a well-struck free kick in the 50th minute, but the Nailers appeared to be denied a stonewall penalty three minutes later when a free kick was awarded for a handball offence outside the area when the offender had seemed well inside.
The Nailers had been performing well in the early stages of the second period although efforts on goal were a rarity.
Jon Froggatt got up well to a high ball down the centre in the 70th minute although Danny Marshall saved easily, and then the Belper striker hit a powerful shot just over the cross bar soon afterwards.
A point looked to be safely in the bag as the game entered added on time, but in the 93rd minute Terry Hawksbridge twisted and turned his way into the penalty area before seemingly falling over the ball.
Carlton claimed a penalty, the referee looked unsure, but his assistant flagged and the penalty was awarded.
Terry Hawksbridge just about squeezed the ball in beyond the despairing dive of Tom Turner, but it was enough to give all three points to the home team.
The final whistle came just after the restart and was the signal for some unseemly protestations from some of the Belper players including Damien Magee who succeeded in getting himself sent off.
Carlton Town Marshall, Darkin, Fletcher, Grayson, Kitchen, Hall, Thornton, Hawkridge, Brown (Gill 75), Wiggins-Thomas (Hollis 86), Kimberley (Smith 64). Unused subs: Goward, Clarke.
Belper Town: Turner, Rushbury (Pride 51), Magee, Meikle (Hodgson, 69), Adams, O’Hare, Gregory, Warne, Froggatt, Morris (Spargo 86), Marrison. Unused subs: Plant, Stones.
Referee: Andrew Park (Lincoln)
Next in action
Saturday, October 1 - Evo-Stik League First Division South - Rainworth MW v Belper Town (3pm).
Tuesday, October 4 - Evo-Stik League First Division South - Belper Town v Goole AFC (7.45pm).