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Match Report Curzon Ashton 0-3 Blyth Spartans
Friday 25th August 2017 @ 18:00 by Mark Phillip
Football Sports

Curzon opted for two target men up front in the form of Niall Cummins & Ben Wharton for the visit of Blyth Spartans. Both had shown good promise as a forward pairing in last week’s fixture against Tamworth but they were starved of support on too many occasions. Max Leonard playing a deeper role than normal tried to support from the central areas and was unlucky not to get himself on the score sheet.

However Curzon missed a fantastic chance to take the lead when on nine minutes when Blyth’s Jordan Watson missed the ball & Ben Wharton was in, on goal with just the keeper to beat but he stumbled & when he regained his composure he could only hit his effort straight at the keeper. Watson through missing the ball injured himself & had to be carried off on a stretcher with Lewis Horner replacing him.

Niall Cummins was found in Blyth’s box on 17 minutes & he cushioned a header down to Max Leonard on the edge of the box but Leonard’s volley was well blocked as Curzon started to settle.

At the other end Robert Dale was looking dangerous down the left channel as Blyth looked to hit Curzon on the counter attack.

With 31 minutes on the clock Leonard ran at Blyth’s defence hitting a snap shot from 22 yards out which went just wide which was the best opening for Curzon since the early stages. With both side having the lion’s share of possession the final ball for both sides was just lacking.

Matthew Crothers was next to come close for Curzon as his effort from a short corner was well saved by Blyth’s keeper Peter Jamieson on 40 minutes.

As the first half came to an end Blyth were pushing hard but just trying to walk the ball into the net while Curzon defending deeply had two chances to take the lead both involving Leonard, firstly getting harshly caught offside on the half-way line after Curzon cleared & launched a quick counter attack, then deep into extra time Leonard again inside the box thought he had scored only to be denied by the assistants flag for being a ‘whisker’ offside.

The second half started as the first half ended but Cameron Mason in the Curzon goal had to be alert to parry the ball away from a Sean Reid header on 47 minutes. The next decent effort came on the hour mark when Blyth were awarded a free kick 22 yards from goal, Robert Dale stepped up & Mason again stood tall to again parry the powerful effort away.

On 61 minutes Curzon made a change to allow Leonard to push forward more as Cummins made way for Tyrell McKenzie a good move as Leonard looked like Curzon’s only hope of a goal.

Blyth’s Michael Liddle was then presented a gift 6 yards out from Curzon’s goal when he was found unmarked but he ended up on his knees with his head in his hands after he hit his effort wide.

But 6 minutes later on 67 minutes Blyth got the opening goal as Daniel Maguire from Curzon’s goal-line saw his cross headed in at the near post by Curzon’s Matthew Regan as he tried to clear for a corner.

Curzon’s best chance to equalise came in the 74th minute when Crothers was played in from a free kick but he could only drag his shot wide with just the keeper to beat.

Blyth made certain that their trip home to the North East was a good one when on 82 minutes Maguire pounced onto a loose ball inside Curzon’s box to blast home from 4 yards, then 2 minutes later (84) substitute Andreas Bianga brought down Dale inside Curzon’s box & Sean Reid stepped up to put his spot kick into Mason’s bottom right hand corner to seal all three points.

Curzon will be looking to bounce back on Bank Holiday Monday when they travel to Alfreton Town before they moved into a tough month of fixtures in September.

Attendance: 284

By Dave Jones