A late Martin Ball header wins the game as Carlton Town beat Worksop Town 1-0 at Sandy Lane. 

Carlton had the first opportunity as Tyler Blake ran onto Daniel Fletcher’s clearance, slowly pulling away from Pemberton before the forward saw his stroked attempt blocked by David Reay. 

Aaron Opoku then drove towards goal thanks to good movement from the left, but his effort was held low by Reay. Unfortunately, Worksop were then forced into replacing Niall Smith after a suspected break to his collarbone. 

On the half-hour mark, Craig Mitchell struck the post as he fired Steve McDonnell’s wayward header onto the frame of goal on the slide. 

In the second period, Martin Ball went close as he headed a corner from Oliver Clark back across goal and just inches wide of the post. 

McDonnell, who made his first start since rejoining the Tigers, then saw a speculative effort go wide as his bicycle kick carried just over the target. 

Tyler Johal went close on the hour as his rifled effort was deflected off Pemberton and into the hands of Reay. 

Harry Holland was introduced midway into the second period, and his clever play set up an opportunity to take the lead. Holland bent the ball around two covering defenders to Smith’s replacement Ben Rhodes, who subsequently sent a cross-field ball towards Deegan Atherton who saw a volley from the right flash wide of the upright following a give-and-go with Jack Brownell. 

With the game looking like it was heading for a draw, Ball broke the stalemate as he steered an 86th minute header into the top corner to cause heartbreak for the Tigers – this was controversial as Worksop fans felt he shouldn’t have been on the field following a stamp on Patterson moments before. 

Thomas then forced another save out of Reay, but ultimately Carlton Town saw the game out to remain league leaders. 

By Devon Cash

Attendance: 441 
Goals: Ball (86’) 

Worksop Town: David Reay, Deegan Atherton, Niall Smith (Ben Rhodes), Daniel Patterson (C), Max Pemberton, Steven Wankiewicz, Steve McDonnell, Jack Brownell, Connor Brunt (Harry Holland), Craig Mitchell, Lynton Karkach 

Unused Subs: Matt Templeton, Steve Woolley, Andrew Gascoigne 

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