If there was any justice it would have been Curzon taking all three points at Moor Lane on Easter Monday, but instead, a late goal by former Nash favourite Sam Walker ensured that big spending Salford’s hopes of finishing in the promotion play-offs in their own hands.
Curzon were magnificent throughout, the goal being the only shot Salford had on target, excepting a blocked effort in the second half.
It was Curzon who almost opened the scoring in the seventh minute but Jay Lynch dived low to his right to turn away Jonno Hunt’s header and Ryan Hall following up could only find the side netting.
Defences were generally on top with Curzon’s enforced changes seeing youngsters Tyrell McKenzie and midfielder Ryan Jennings doing their best to break through. Even more impressive was the way the Curzon defence kept Salford at arms length. City are the fourth top scorers in the league but they barely had a sniff against some superb defending and Hakan Burton was so well protected he didn’t have a save to make in the first half.
Mike Phenix thought he’d put the home side ahead on 36 minutes but his tug on Hunt’s shirt as he went past was enough for the referee to rightly blow for a foul.
The second half saw Curzon growing in confidence. And Jennings was unfortunate to see his header go wide at the far post before Lynch made another great save to keep out a James Baillie effort.
Curzon survived a scramble on 64 minutes, Nash players throwing themselves on front of the ball to keep it out and the danger passed.
So effective had Curzon’s defending been that Salford replaced forwards James Poole and Mike Phenix with Richie Allen and Jordan Hulme and Allen had Salford’s best chance but curled his shot high and wide after being given a rare sight of goal.
Curzon were looking the most likely to score and Luke Clarke thought he had broken the deadlock but his close range shot deflected off a defender and onto the post. It was an important moment in the game and with just six minutes of normal time remaining Sam Walker stole in at the far post to get on the end of a low cross and the stadium erupted with relief.
It could be a crucial goal as Salford look to secure their place in the playoffs and possible promotion at the end of the season.
By Ian Seymour