Curzon edge it in relegation battle
Monday 26th March 2018 @ 10:02 by Mark Phillip
Football Sports

National League North

Curzon Ashton 1-0 Tamworth

 

Curzon Ashton claimed a much-needed victory in their bid against the drop against fellow strugglers Tamworth at the Tameside Stadium on Saturday.

The only goal of the game arrived in the early stages of the second half through on loan midfielder Sam Walker. The Stockport County man, who re-joined the Nash in December until the end of the season, converted Joe Guest’s pass from 16 yards out to give Curzon some vital breathing space at the foot of the table.

The result leaves John Flanagan’s side in 18th spot and two points above the drop zone.

Prior to Saturday’s clash, Flanagan said his side needed to be more clinical in front of goal and he kept faith in the side that were narrowly beaten last time out for the visit of Tamworth, who like Curzon are searching for wins to stay in the division.

Curzon started off well with good possession and setting out their intentions but it was Tamworth who fired the first shot in anger after Rhys Sharpe hit a superb strike from 25 yards out which skimmed off Cameron Mason’s right hand post.

Curzon replied through Jake Dunwoody on 13 minutes after he created some space for himself outside Tamworth’s box but he dragged his shot wide.

Curzon on 25 minutes got the crowd a little excited after Joe Guest broke through Tamworth’s back four but his shot was blocked, it fell to Dunwoody who’s shot was also blocked this time falling to Chris Rowney who’s effort fizzed wide of Jack Stevens post.

Curzon were having the majority of the possession but with both sides in the bottom four of the form table & struggling to score in their last few fixtures it was plain to see why.

On the stroke of halftime Ben McKenna broke into the Tamworth box to the by-line pulling the ball back across the front of goal but the in-coming Guest was just beaten to ball inside the six yard box for a corner.

Curzon got off to the best start in the second half, a move from left to right found Guest who got himself into the Tamworth box, with the crowd urging him to shoot he checked, then pulled the ball back to Sam Walker who slotted past Stevens from 16 yards to give the Nash the lead.

Tamworth, needing to get back into the game, made changes bringing on forward Dior Angus for defender Regan Upton and Angus had a great chance to pull Tamworth level when from just inside the box but he shot straight at Mason. On 69 minutes Darryl Knights in a similar position again could only hit his effort straight at Mason as Curzon were starting to live dangerously.

Tamworth’s best chance fell on 72 minutes when a great delivery into the Curzon box found Aman Verma six yards out but luckily for Curzon he could not keep his header under the crossbar.

In a bid to claim a second goal, Curzon made changes themselves, bringing on Richy Baker for Jake Dunwoody. It didn’t take long for Baker to make an impact as the striker forced Stevens into a great save in the 78th minute.

Curzon were given an opportunity to wrap the game up in the final ten minutes when James Baillie was brought down inside the box by the keeper. The referee was given no choice but to award the penalty, which Walker subsequently drilled wide of the post.

Cameron Mason, who was again solid in the Curzon goal, was again in action on 85 minutes when bravely dived at the feet of Akwasi Asante to deny him a goal scoring opportunity.

On 90 minutes Tamworth won a corner and in the medley Curzon threw bodies in front of every effort from Tamworth with Mason finally holding onto a Jed Davies shot from the edge of the box.

Despite four additional minutes of stoppage time, Curzon held strong in the face of attack and claimed a much-needed three points.

By Dave Jones