Curzon fall to heavy defeat in opening home match
Tuesday 7th August 2018 10:06 Football Sports Posted by Mark Phillip

National League North

Curzon Ashton 0-3 Chester

 

Curzon Ashton were comfortably beaten 3-0 at home by promotion favourites Chester in their first game back at the Tameside in the 2018-19 campaign.

Chester proved why they are expected to be challenging at the top end of the table with a dominant display against the Nash.

Chester led by two goals to nil at half-time courtesy of Simon Grand and Anthony Dudley, before an unfortunate Connor Hughes’ own-goal completed the scoring on the hour mark.

Curzon were confident going into their first home league match after their 2-1 victory away at Darlington on Saturday gave John Flanagan’s side the perfect start to the season.

After their stalemate against Spennymoor Town, Chester turned on the style with an impressive performance to beat the Nash, despite the hosts putting in a valiant effort under the lights.

The visitors threatened within five minutes when Dominic Smalley cut inside from the right-flank after being found in acres of space by skipper Gary Roberts and forced a strong save from Curzon goalkeeper Cameron Mason.

Chester continued with their early pressure and had strong spells of possession inside Curzon’s half, however the visitors found themselves very fortunate not to be trailing at the Tameside.

Curzon’s Chris Sharpe was played in behind by full-back Cameron McJannet, with just the keeper to beat, but the striker fired narrowly wide from just inside the area.

The visitors punished the Nash for missing a such gilt-edged opportunity and took the lead in the 23rd minute through defender Simon Grand after he rose highest at the near post to powerfully head John Pritchard’s corner into the top-right corner.

Chester doubled their lead shortly before half-time; Anthony Dudley capitalised on a defensive mix-up to fire a fierce effort into the bottom corner at Mason’s near-post.

Manager John Flanagan needed a reaction from his side in the second-half if the Nash were to salvage anything from the match, with Chester looking comfortable and increasingly likely to build on their two-goal lead.

But the Nash’s hopes to mount a comeback were all but ended in the 60th minute, with Connor Hughes turning the ball into his own net after Dom Smalley’s teasing ball and Pritchard’s pressure forced the issue.

Curzon Ashton introduced attackers Tyrell McKenzie and Ryan Brooke from the bench to try and spark a late resurgence, however the Nash struggled to carve open any genuine goal-scoring opportunities.

Chester managed the game well to ensure that they would be returning to Deva Stadium with all three points and recorded a 3-0 victory to maintain their unbeaten start to the National League North.

Curzon Ashton will be looking to bounce back from their convincing defeat on Saturday as they host Hereford.

By Jay Whittle