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Curzon denied important victory in dying seconds
Tuesday 17th April 2018 @ 10:34 by Mark Phillip

National League North

Curzon Ashton 2-2 Nuneaton Town

Curzon Ashton were denied an important victory in the dying seconds against Nuneaton Town on Monday night in the National League North.

John Flanagan’s side took the lead in the 16th minute through defender Olly Thornley. The youngster, who captained the youth team to the quadruple last season, hit an effort from the edge of the box which flew past the visiting ‘keeper and into the back of the net.

Nuneaton responded well and drew matters level on the stroke of half-time. Luther Wildin hustled his way past the Curzon defence and slotted past Mason with real aplomb.

The hosts were in desperate need of the three points as they aim to climb to safety. And James Baille’s penalty in the 66th minute looked to have provided that safety blanket, but with virtually the last kick of the game Nuneaton equalised through Kelvin Langmead. Defensive hesitancy between Jono Hunt and Dan Shaw allowed the defender to brilliantly volley home from the edge of the box.

Following the game, first team coach Mark Bradshaw said it was a hard result to take. Speaking to Curzon’s media team, Bradshaw said: “It was a good performance – a good, battling performance – the lads, to a man, worked really hard over these past few games, and from Christmas we’ve gone some weeks without games and they’ve all come at once.

“We’ve maintained a level and we had to defend, as Nuneaton were very good tonight. They passed it well, but we were determined and we got stuck in and got our rewards, but it’s a really cruel game sometimes. I think there was just over a minute left and there centre half has wandered up and scored a goal that he’ll more than likely never score again.”

Curzon now have a tough run of fixtures until the end of the season as they look to avoid the drop – starting on Saturday against playoff hopefuls Spennymoor Town.

While the odds are stacked against Curzon, Bradshaw feels that Spennymoor’s congested fixture list may well take it’s toll on the players’ energy levels. He said: “We’ve got to look forward to Saturday and know that there is another good side coming, but we look forward to these home games.

“We always felt that our home form would be key to where we finish. We know that Spennymoor are a good side and they’ve got a hard programme as well, so they’ll be coming to us on the back of two games this week. We’ve got to prepare mentally and physically for that game, but we’ve got three games left and there’s no reason why we can’t go and get points in all three.”

Following Saturday’s game against Spennymoor, which is taking place at the Tameside Stadium, Curzon will then travel to 10th place Blyth Spartans before ending the season on Saturday, April 28 at Harrogate Town, who could potentially claim the title.