F.A. Cup Preliminary Round – venue: Bill Stokeld Stadium
Our (great to have Kev back in the fold!) first visit to Carlton Town this season – lured by the £5 admission and a chance to see the new look Millers team that sits at the top of the Evo-Stik Div One South table, having played four and won four of their league fixtures. EMCL outfit Borrowash Victoria have started their league campaign well enough, winning three of their four games played so far.
Didn't expect a big turnout even although Carlton reduced their admission charges. Thanks go to Brian Dennett for the team sheet, although he did manage to get a fiver out of us for sponsoring a horse in the upcoming Carlton Town race night!
Me and him
Lee Torr was playing for Clifton the last time we saw him - looks to have made the move from step 7 to step 4 without too much trouble. Solid in defence alongside old Carlton Town favourite Grant Brindley.
Julian Topliss had the games first real chance in the 12th minute, firing just over from the corner of the box. Lee Potts also had a shot on target a few seconds later, his effort comfortably collected by Vics keeper Steve Smith.
Topliss should have done better on 17, but after a superb collect and turn on the edge of the area, the striker blazed his shot way over the bar. Potts had another chance with a quarter of the game played - but his chip was a little too weak to clear Smith's big frame and the keeper saved with some ease.
I had just commented to Kev how well Referee Abbas Khan was doing - when he amazed us by continuing a dialogue with Potts over a decision he had just made and taking no notice of the game that was still going on!
Borrowash went close with 6 minutes of the first half remaining, when Jamie Pawley's free-kick was headed just wide of the post by Marc Finlay.
Carlton opened the scoring with their next attack. Danny Elliott fired a superb cross field ball to Ben Flynn - he rolled it into the path of JULIAN TOPLISS who lashed the ball past Smith without having to break his stride. Flynn then saw his effort a minute later roll across the bar onto the roof of the net. H-T 1-0
Topliss ( out of shot) fires past Smith
Carlton began the second half seemingly desperate to wrap the tie up, attacking from the off. Left back Billy Bennett looks a good acquisition for the Millers, and it was his ball into the box that caused panic in the Vics defence - Topliss setting up McVicar in front of goal, but the big front man screwed his shot just wide of the post.
From a free-kick into the box, Tom Land's powerful header forced Martin Kearney into a save on 51, but when Carlton broke seconds later, Topliss and Flynn played a neat 1-2 and when Topliss' shot was blocked by Smith, Potts hammered the loose ball onto the crossbar.
A second goal for the Millers looked inevitable, as the Borrowash defence struggled to cope with McVicar and Topliss and were time and again tested by the front pairing. The goal came on 56 when Josh Thornton played a cracking ball into the path of SAM McVICAR who again didn't have to break stride before sending the ball flying past Smith.
McVicar slots home
Finlay again brought out a neat save from Kearney, after he raced to the by-line and hammered a shot across the Carlton goal. On the hour mark, McVicar lashed a shot off the underside of the bar after Potts had seen his initial effort blocked.
McVicar so close!
Carlton replaced Potts and Flynn with Jordan Vilums and Blair Anderson, but Anderson's participation was to last only a matter of a few minutes as he dislocated a finger whilst going in for a challenge. The physio attempted to treat the injury by popping the digit back in - but to no avail and the sub was subbed by Luke Smithson. F-T 2-0
Borrowash played their part in a cracking cup tie, but the talent on show at Carlton was far too good for the Vics. With Rueben Wiggins-Thomas and Alex Troke on the bench with Vilums, Anderson and Smithson, the Millers appear to have put together a decent set of players and hopefully they can continue their great start to the season.
Borrowash will always be there or thereabouts in the EMCL, and who knows, maybe this season could be the one where they get the promotion they so desperately crave.
Referee Mr. Khan has a lot to learn - mostly about his interaction with the players. Holding lengthy conversations with players whilst the game is ongoing is certainly not a good idea. Mr. Khan, you do not have to explain every decision you make - just get on with the game. He only played 44 mins 56 seconds in the second half, despite the dislocated finger and 6 substitutions.