What a glorious September afternoon - unless you're a Badgers fan that is! The sun blazed down on the Bill Stokeld Stadium - most people present (including me and Kev) had brought along big coats - the usual attire required at the end of September!
Admission via a Complementary ticket provided by our good friend Mr. Brian Dennett, and we were treated to a cracker of a game.
Although the scoreline is slightly flattering for the Millers, they took their chances well, whereas Eastwood didn't.
We had a word with Carlton's Julian Topliss prior to kick off - he is a week away from a return from a hamstring injury, but with Blair Anderson and Sam McVicar playing so well, he may have to fight for his place in the starting eleven!
Eastwood gave a debut to keeper Gary Hateley, signed in the week from Gresley FC - and he was called into action a couple of minutes in, first saving a McVicar effort then deflecting a shot from the loose ball out for a corner.
McVicar then tried his luck from the corner of the box on 9, but his well struck shot flew just over the bar.
Eastwood almost took the lead seconds later, but unfortunately Tris Whitman's acrobatic overhead kick from a well worked corner routine flew just over the Carlton bar.
Whitman goes so close!!
Anderson was causing a few problems down the left, firing into the side-netting in the 14th minute, then pinging a cross into the area that was met by McVicar, his flick header creeping just over the bar.
McVicar headed just wide from another Anderson left wing cross on 35, then Josh Thornton's cross-shot force Hateley to tip over for a corner. Whitman had a decent effort well saved by Martin Kearney with 6 minutes of the half remaining. H-T 0-0
Things went belly-up for the Badgers early in the second half - and although the defending left a lot to be desired the finishes were superb.
Lee Torr cleared the Millers lines on 50, his ball out of defence picking out SAM McVICAR who ran across the pitch unchallenged before composing himself and unleashing a terrific low drive that was past Hateley before the keeper could react.
McVicar (out of shot) fires past Hateley
Three minutes later, McVICAR was at it again, this time Gavin Hurren allowing the big no. 9 time to hit a perfectly placed curling effort that beat Hateley all hands up.
McVicar's second goal caught superbly on camera by Mr. Goodman
When the Millers won a corner in the 55th minute, there seemed to be enough cover, but former Badger ALEX TROKE found space at the back stick and headed the home team further ahead.
Troke grabs the Millers' third
Eastwood made changes and began to apply pressure on the Carlton defence - but Martin Ball was looking imperious in the centre of the line, and in fellow centre-back Lee Torr, the Millers have a gem.
The visitors were hit on the break with 5 minutes of the game left, JORDAN VILUNS dancing through the Badgers' defence before slotting the under the body of Hateley.
Eastwood still took the game to their hosts, and had one effort that hit the post, and one open goal miss that left everyone open-mouthed! F-T 4-0
This game was officiated by one of the best Referees we have seen so far this season. Take a bow Darren Russell - always in charge and commanded the proper respect. Mr. Russell did get an earful from Martin Ball after the defender had made a particularly high challenge on Brad Munn that was quite correctly adjudged to be foul play. Ball was duly yellow carded - not for the foul, but for the verbal tirade.