Manchester Premier Cup Curzon and Mossley book place in final
Wednesday 6th February 2019 @ 12:20 by Mark Phillip

Chadderton’s journey in the Manchester Premier Cup came to an abrupt end against a rampant Curzon Ashton on Tuesday.

The Nash made the short trip to the Ark Fleetech Stadium and cruised to a comfortable 8-0 victory, thanks to goals from Oliver Crankshaw, John McAtee, Reece Deakin, Ryan Brooke and braces from Luke Wall and Lewis Reilley.

Following the game, Chadderton boss David Fish provided an honest assessment of his side’s defeat.

“Not a result you want to be on the end of, but I’m proud of the lads tonight,” he said.

“Heads didn’t drop and we continued to try to play. Plenty more to come from this young squad. 

“Also credit to Curzon for putting out a full strength side and a professional performance.”

In winning on Tuesday, Curzon have extended their unbeaten run in 2019 to seven matches and have also booked their place in the final against local rivals Mossley, who survived six minutes of injury time to secure a 3-2 victory at Radcliffe on the same evening.

The Lilywhites fell a goal behind in the 18th minute when Shelton Payne put the hosts ahead, but a great response saw them take a 2-1 lead through quick-fire goals from Mike FIsh and Max Leonard. 

Ben Halfacre gave Mossley a 3-1 lead by the half-time break, but Radcliffe were given a lifeline in the 53rd minute when Tunde Owolabi slotted home from close range.

John Macken’s side pushed for an equaliser in the dying stages, but Mossley’s defence held firm and survived a late onslaught to claim victory. 

Although a date and venue has yet to be confirmed, it will be the second time in four years that Mossley and Curzon have faced off in the competition’s final. 

In 2015, the Lilywhites, then managed by Peter Band and Lloyd Morrison, lifted the cup after beating Curzon on penalties.

The club defended the title the following year, beating off stiff competition in Irlam and Trafford before claiming a 3-1 victory over Stalybridge Celtic in the final.

There has been a lot of change at Seel Park since that victory, with Band and Morrison replaced by Dave Wild and Terry Hincks. 

The duo, who took the reins in April 2018, now have a great opportunity to claim their first piece of silverware during their first full season in charge of the club.

While excited at the prospect of competing in a final, the Lilywhites’ main priority remains with their league campaign in the Evo-Stik West. 

Wild and Hincks’ side have won five of their six league fixtures in 2019, propelling them to fourth in the table and giving them a great chance of featuring in the play-offs come the end of the season.

For a while it looked as if Mossley were primed for a title shot, but their chances were ultimately killed when leaders Atherton Collieries ran out 2-0 winners at Seel Park in January. 

There is currently an 11 point gap between the sides, and while it’s mathematically possible to catch the leaders, it would take a capitulation of epic proportions to make it happen.

Following Tuesday’s victory, Wild told Mossley’s media team: “I couldn’t be prouder of the lads, it’s big for us to be in a cup final, and I’m over the moon.

“When all three of your strikers are scoring, nine times out of 10 you’re going to win games. 

“The big thing for me was the dominant possession in the first half. The first goal from Mike Fish was outstanding. I think we had 15 to 16 passes in the work up to it.”

Looking ahead to the final, Wild said: “We put the final to the back of our minds, we’ve got things to do, they’ve spoken about taking it game by game and keeping momentum and we’re exactly the same. 

“When we get closer to the final then we’ll prep for it. All attention goes to Widnes on Saturday.”

Mossley journey to 11th place Widnes this weekend, who snatched a 90th minute winner in their last outing at Clitheroe.

When the sides met earlier in the season – the first home game at Seel Park – Mossley ran out 2-1 winners, thanks to efforts from Max Leonard and Liam Ellis.

Meanwhile, Chadderton are without a league fixture this weekend due to their elimination from the First Division Cup earlier in the season.

Local rivals Avro remain in the competition, and will be hoping to overcome Garstang, at home, to book their place in the semi-final.

Picture: Elena Longshaw