Newcastle Town got their promotion charge back on track, after they edged out fellow promotion contenders Carlton Town 2-1 at Lyme Valley.
The home side appeared to be cruising after scoring twice within the first ten minutes, but Carlton responded after the break and could have taken a point from this action packed encounter.
Newcastle came flying out of the blocks, and lead inside five minutes as Jordan J0hnson’s corner from the left was bundled over the line by the returning Karl Espley.
It was 2-0 just four minutes later as Dan Skelton came in from the right wing, to power a low left foot drive inside keeper Neil West’s near post.
Johnson had a great opportunity to put them out of sight before half time, but his chipped penalty floated harmlessly over the crossbar, after Chris Budrys had been brought down by West.
Carlton were handed a lifeline on 56 minutes as 46 year old striker Neil Grayson pulled one back, slotting home from close range after Massiah McDonald managed to divert Curtis Shaw’s cross onto the bar from six yards.
The visitors were now in the ascendancy, and won a penalty just two minutes later as Paul Donnelly felled McDonald in the box. Shaw stepped up, but saw his low spot kick pushed away superbly by Newcastle stopper Danny Read.
Carlton were reduced to ten men on 74 minutes, as Nick Hall was shown a second yellow card after a wild lunge on Peter Heler.
Newcastle had Skelton stretchered off in the closing stages, after he was caught on the ankle by keeper West from a clearance.
Newcastle Town Manager Greg Clowes confirmed afterwards that Skelton, and Neville Thompson who limped off in the first half are big doubts for Tuesday’s vital local derby with another promotion hopeful Kidsgrove Athletic.
Newcastle Town team: Read, George, White, Donnelly, Espley, Douglas, Johnson, Skelton, Nagington, Thompson, Heler.
Subs: Budrys, Teague, Sheldon, James, Willis.
Carlton Town team: West, Darkin, Goward, Shaw, Kitchen, Hall, Hawkridge, Meikle, Grayson, McDonald, Gardner.
Subs: Hollis, Naylor, Chaplin, Hatfield, Troughton.