REPORT Resolute Curzon hang on for draw
Wednesday 28th September 2016 @ 11:15 by Adam Higgins
Ashton Football Sports

Tuesday 27th September 2016, FC United of Manchester 0-0 Curzon Ashton

Curzon Ashton had goalkeeper Hakan Burton to thank for a string of impressive saves as the Nash held on for a point away at FC United of Manchester on Tuesday night.

After a largely dull first half, the home side upped the ante in the second period, and created some very good chances, while Curzon had to defend resolutely to prevent the reds from scoring.

Captain Burton was the man of the match with three outstanding saves to maintain a clean sheet, and ensure a well-deserved draw for the visitors.

Manager John Flanagan made three changes to the line-up that lost in the last minute to Stockport last Saturday: Simon Woodford returned to the side after injury, along with Alex Brown. New signing Jamie Stott made his debut at the heart of the defence.

The game was a shadow of the previous meeting at Broadhurst Park – last season’s game ended 3-3 – and the first half reflected both teams lowly league position. Curzon had a couple of nearly moments with dangerous crosses whilst Charlie Ennis shot wide from the edge of the box.

The Rebels, roared on by the 2,166 crowd, began the second half with more tempo and intensity, and had a great early chance when striker Dale Johnson had a header well kept out by Burton.

The pressure was intensifying and just before the hour, FC’s number nine had the game’s best chance: the ball fell to him in the six-yard box, but Burton pulled off a magnificent save to tip it onto the post and away for a corner.

A couple of minutes later, left back Chantler found himself through on goal, but Burton blocked his goal-bound effort. The ball then ricocheted off the FC man and came back off the post.

The closest Curzon came to scoring came on sixty-three minutes when Luke Clark fired in a terrific shot from distance that went just over the crossbar.

With the Nash stubbornly hanging on as the game entered five minutes of injury time, the home side carved out one final chance: after Curzon failed to clear a corner, FC played the ball back into the area for substitute Jason Gilchrist, but Burton pulled off an outstanding save to keep the score at 0-0 and preserve a vital point for the Nash.

Curzon Ashton can put the league to bed for a fortnight as they are back in FA Cup action on Saturday, as they welcome Warwickshire side Bedworth United to the Tameside Stadium.

Curzon Ashton Line-Up: Burton; Woodford (Baillie 90), Stott, Rowney, Clark; Hampson, Tomsett (Gorman 84), Brown, Wright; Ennis (Guest 76), Hall

By Alex Byrom