GRESLEY and Carlton Town will lock horns at the Moat Ground tomorrow evening after an entertaining FA Trophy preliminary round draw at the Bill Stokeld Stadium on Saturday.
Kieran O’Connell gave the Moatmen a 20th lead only for Sammy McVicar to level four minutes later.
And despite playing against 10 men for the entire second half, Gresley needed a late header from captain Jamie Barrett to claim the draw after Martin Ball had put the hosts in front.
Gresley manager Martin Rowe made just one change to the starting line-up that faced Brackley Town in midweek, with Jordan Nadat replacing Dean Oliver up front.
Rob Spencer was still missing, but Lucas Harrison returned to the bench after recovering from his recent thigh injury.
It was soon obvious why Carlton are riding high in First Division South.
The Millers immediately pressed forward with the impressive McVicar and Jordan Vilums causing the Gresley defence problems – and they forced four consecutive corners which the visitors dealt with successfully.
The first shot on target came from Nadat whose effort from distance went straight at Town keeper Jordan Fell.
Nadat was involved again shortly after, and was instrumental in the opener as he slipped a perfectly measured ball through for O’Connell who finished coolly into the bottom far corner of the net.
Gresley could have doubled their lead three minutes later. It was Eric Graves’ turn to put O’Connell through, but his shot was straight at Fell.
The Moatmen were left to rue that wasted chance as Town went straight up the other end and levelled.
Some slack defending allowed McVicar to run across the edge of the area before drilling his shot beyond Gresley keeper Ross Etheridge.
Town were fortunate not to have been a man down when Fell came rushing out of his area and scythed down Graves.
Referee Adam Burgess felt the offence only warranted a yellow card, and the resultant free-kick by Marc Goodfellow flew wide of the far post.
Just before the break the Millers were reduced to 10.
O’Connell was wrestled to the ground by Josh Thornton, who compounded the foul by kicking the Gresley goalscorer.
The offence was in full view of Burgess, giving the referee no option but to brandish a straight red card.
The second half began with Gresley applying the pressure, and from a Goodfellow corner John Guy put a header over the bar.
Goodfellow was the width of the woodwork away from giving his side the lead when he cut in from the left and rifled a shot against the base of the near post.
To Town’s credit they began to take charge again, forcing the Gresley defence back before taking the lead just after the hour mark.
A corner from the right by Lee Potts was only half cleared, and when it was returned to the back post Ball was able to plant his header into the empty net from close in.
At times it was difficult to tell which side was a player down as Carlton continued to fight for every ball.
With 13 minutes remaining the Millers’ hard work almost paid off when Vilums struck a shot against the base of the post.
Rowe decided to change things in a bid to force an equaliser, replacing Guy with Dean Oliver. And within five minutes of the change Gresley were level.
Goodfellow whipped in a cross from the left and it was met by Jamie Barrett who powered his header beyond Fell to earn his side a replay.