Curzon battle back to extend unbeaten run to eight matches
Monday 11th February 2019 @ 10:07 by Mark Phillip

National League North

Curzon Ashton 3-2 Alfreton Town

Curzon extended their unbeaten run to eight matches after coming from two behind to earn a 3-2 victory against Alfreton Town at the Tameside Stadium.

Both sides were struggling to settle in the first five minutes of the game and the strong wind was not helping either side. But on seven minutes Alfreton took the lead after Josh Wilde crossed from the left to Reece Styche at the back post and he had time to chest it down and finish at the far post.

Curzon tried to hit back quickly when they were awarded a free kick from around 25 yards but the Town’s defence easily headed clear.

On 16 minutes Town were awarded a free kick themselves after Wilde was brought down, from the resulting free kick Styche was pulled up for being offside, Styche complained and complained for the next three minutes to referee John Matthews who in the end had enough of Styche’s dissent and showed him the red card.

The game was held up for 20 minutes when the assistant referee pulled up with an injury. In the end Alfreton’s kit lady took up the role and the game resumed.

Curzon continued to look poor even with the one man advantage and on the 33rd minute 10 man Alfreton went two up after Curzon’s captain Jonathon Hunt hesitated and allowed Wilde to control the ball inside the box and slot past Cameron Mason.

Curzon’s best bit of play came in the 39th minute when a cross from the right by Oliver Thornley was headed clear but dropped to Cameron McJannet but he could only hit his effort high over the crossbar.

10 man Alfreton still were commanding the game and came close to grabbing a third following a corner on 41 minutes, it went to the far post and saw Dominic Smith just head wide of the post.

In the final minute of the half Curzon created two chances, a cross from the left by McJannet was wickedly deflected forcing keeper Sam Ramsbottom to back pedal before palming the ball away at the back post but no Curzon player were following in.

The final chance came when McJannet played in Luke Wall, Wall got into the box and once at the goal-line his cross was too high and long and the chance went begging.

At the start of the second half manager Mark Bradshaw made two changes bringing on Reece Deakin & Sean Miller for Chris Rowney & Jack O’Leary and it was an instant impact as Miller was involved to Curzon pulling two goals back within the first two minutes.

The first came in the 46th minutes when Miller, down the right, whipped in a cross and Lewis Reilly was on hand to side foot home from three yards. A minute later there was another cross from the right but this time Miller was in the six yard box and his slight header hit a Town defender and ended in the back of the net to draw the Nash level.

Town thought they had a third on 51 minutes but as the ball came into Curzon’s crowded box Mason was adjudged to be fouled and the goal was disallowed.

Curzon were looking the more likely to win the game, and on 83 minutes they finally got reward. A great cross from the left was met by John McAtee who rose in the six yard box to powerfully head home.

Curzon could have goner further ahead on 85 minutes after a quick break saw McAtee play in Crankshaw, Crankshaw being brought down by ‘keeper Ramsbottom to concede a penalty.

Ramsbottom made amends for his error and pushed McAtee’s spot kick round the post.

With three minutes of added time at the end of the game Alfreton tried in vain to grab an equaliser but Curzon held firm and grabbed all three points, finally breaking the ‘Manager of the Month’ curse.

By David Jones