Address

Address:
Bill Stokeld Stadium Stoke Lane Gedling Nottingham NG4 2QS
Directions:
Seated:
164
Standing:
1,500
Telephone:
01159 403192
Website:

History

The Club was founded in 1904 under the name of Sneinton FC and for much of the 20th century played its football in the Nottinghamshire Football Alliance. Sneinton won the league in 1905-06 and picked up three titles in succession between 1907-08 and 1909-10.

The League was strong enough in the early part of the century to enter clubs into the qualifying rounds of the FA Cup and Sneinton competed for 20 successive seasons between 1907-08 and 1930-31 albeit never progressing beyond the First Round Qualifying. It would be 73 years before they entered the Cup again.

Indeed, the club had to wait some time for further success, winning the Second Division title (third tier) in 1984-85 and the First Division title (second tier) in 1992-93.

The club had led somewhat of a nomadic existence, playing at various grounds, and only settled at its current location of Stoke Lane, Gedling, in the early 1990s. This move coincided with the ambition from within the Club to progress beyond the confines of County football and, following a third-place finish in the Senior Division (top tier) in 1994-95, the club joined the Central Midlands Football League.

The first season in the CML was reasonable, but at the start of the 1996-97 campaign the Club was left with just three players and no manager. In a desperate quandary, chairman Bill Stokeld turned to former players Tommy Brookbanks and Neil Cooper who agreed to take over the managerial reigns at Sneinton, and there began a period of outstanding success.

Brookbanks led the club brilliantly for 14 years from 1996 – 2010 with the club gaining four promotions under his stewardship. He took just two years to gain promotion from the Premier Division to the Supreme Division of the CML, and three years later only ground grading issues prevented elevation into the Northern Counties East League.

In 2002 chairman Mick Garton of local company MSR Newsgroup took over the hot seat at Stoke Lane in 2002 bringing finances to ensure ground-grading wouldn’t be an issue again and the club also changed its name to Carlton Town. In its first season under its new name it duly won the CML title and gained promotion to the First Division of the NCEL.

The Millers spent three years in this division before winning the league in 2005-06 and gaining promotion to the NCEL Premier Division. However, by this stage the club was without club President and legend Bill Stokeld, who passed away watching the Millers on 23 October 2004. Bill had been involved with the Club for over 50 years and it is fitting that his name lives on through the name of the stadium itself.

On the last day of the following season, 2006-07, Dean Gent’s 94th minute winner secured a 2-1 win at Garforth to earn a second successive promotion, this time to the NPL First Division South. Carlton have remained at Step 4 ever since.

Carlton’s first season at this level saw them finish a creditable 10th, and in 2008-09 they finished fourth and made the play-offs, where future England international Jamie Vardy was amongst the scorers as Stocksbridge Park Steels won 5-2 in South Yorkshire.

Another top half finish followed in 2009-10 before Brookbanks decided to move on to Premier Division Hucknall Town.

New manager Les McJannet recruited a whole new squad, and his side made a fantastic start to the campaign, losing just one of the opening 15 games and finishing in eighth place. The club also made it to the Final of the Notts Senior Cup for the first time before being well beaten by Conference North Eastwood Town.

The next three seasons brought even more success. 2011-12 saw the Millers finish second in the table, their highest pyramid finish to date, score 101 league goals and only go out of the play-offs after a penalty shoot-out defeat against Leek Town.

The league form dipped in 2012-13 but McJannet brought silverware to the Club in the form of a first ever Notts Senior Cup success, beating his former club Sutton Town 5-2 in the Final, even though centre-half Grant Brindley had to play in goal due to an injury crisis. The club also made it through the Third Round Qualifying of the FA Cup for the first time before going out to Bradford (Park Avenue).

The Millers finished tenth in 2013-14 and once again the team save its best performances for the cup competitions, with another Third Round Qualifying appearance in the FA Cup and a best-ever Semi-Final showing in the League Cup in a run which included a memorable Quarter-Final win at home to FC United of Manchester. The Millers also retained the Notts Senior Cup in some style, beating Rainworth MW 6-2 in the Final.

If the first half of the decade had been characterised by success after success, the following five years was seemingly one long struggle against relegation in front of ever-decreasing crowds with just the one tremendous highlight in the middle.

In 2014-15 the Millers opened with three defeats and never really recovered, eventually finishing in 18th position. At the end of the campaign McJannet decided to call it a day.

He was replaced by his assistant Wayne Scott who had led the Under 21s to an impressive second place in their division in McJannet’s final year. Scott’s first two seasons in charge were almost identical, with Carlton starting poorly before hitting their stride in February or March, putting together excellent winning runs, and pulling well clear of the drop in points terms at least.

Those seasons saw 18th and 19th placed finishes in the league but Scott’s second season at the helm ended in spectacular style with the manager leading the club to its third win in the Notts Senior Cup, beating local rivals Basford United 4-1 at Notts County’s Meadow Lane.

2017-18 saw a good start but a horrendous run of postponements saw Carlton having to play their final 12 matches in the last 24 days of the season, and without a win in the last 10 they once again finished 19th.

2018-19 saw Carlton play in the newly-reorganised NPL First Division East which included some mammoth away journeys including a 344-mile round trip to Morpeth but contained just 20 teams, down from the previous 22. Carlton struggled and once again finished 19th which should have meant relegation, but the Millers were granted a reprieve after AFC Mansfield were relegated instead for ground-grading issues.

At the end of the campaign Carlton parted company with Scott and Brookbanks returned as manager, jointly with his ex-Coalville sidekick Mark Harvey. The NPL abandoned the East-West split of the First Division after just one season due to imbalance in the travelling distances and returned effectively to a North-South split, albeit with the two divisional names being slightly different.

The change was instant, with the team playing a more entertaining pass and move style and the two managers inspiring some excellent displays out of a squad that was otherwise more or less the same that had been at the club the previous year.

Carlton hit the ground running in 2019-20 with four straight wins. They spent a month at the top of the table in the Autumn and were in fifth place in the table when the season was brought to its abrupt end due to Covid 19.

Carlton only managed to play nine league games of the truncated 2020-21 season before it too was brought to an early end due to the virus. They did manage a first FA Cup win in six years, albeit on penalties, and their best display of the campaign was in defeat at higher ranked Banbury United in the same competition.

The summer of 2021 saw the expansion of Step 4 which led to Carlton being placed into the newly-formed NPL Midlands division. 2021-22 was a fine season with the Millers winning five of the opening six games to mount a genuine promotion challenge. Carlton slipped out of the top five after some inconsistent displays in the winter months, but the side rallied towards the end of the campaign and only just missed out on a play-off spot with a sixth placed finish, the best in 10 years.

The Millers won through to the First Round proper of the FA Trophy for the first time and picked up their fourth Notts Senior Cup title with a 1-0 win against Mansfield Town U23. The Semi-Final win against Nottingham Forest U23 was played in front of a club-record home crowd of 733.

Off the pitch the club’s commercial team made great strides in engaging with the local community and bringing start guests to the club on matchdays and a thriving supporters club saw home gates and away followings increase substantially. A significant amount of money was spent on pitch improvements which saw only one home game postponed during the season and the club are actively looking to develop the ground.

The club was moved divisions again in the summer and will play 2022-23 in the First Division East of the NPL. This will once again mean some mammoth away trips to the North-East, but the club will be looking to build on the success of last season and mount another genuine promotion challenge.

The Pitching In Northern Premier League newsletter

Keep up-to-date with our exclusive email newsletters.

Subscribe