United Retain Trophy Against Local Rivals
Report By Steve Lee.
After a twelve month hiatus, battle resumed for the Arthur Clancy Memorial Trophy in honour of the former Curzon stalwart, the Tameside Stadium playing host to its first game since their play off heartache in May.
Ashton began the better of the two teams with Curzon struggling to get their passing game going as they more often than not found a red and white shirt.
Mark Peers was the main attacking outlet for the Robins on the left wing and he created the first chance of note with a cross that was headed over the bar by Warren Beattie.
The Robins were continually caught offside, but when the Curzon defence was finally breached, Matty Barlow was presented with a good chance but his first touch let him down, the supporting Matty Burke then produced an effort that Josh Ollerenshaw saved.
Ashton made the pressure tell on 32 minutes when Aaron Burns won a race to the ball with Ollerenshaw and despite a narrow angle, squeezed the ball home.
Terry Smith saw very little action at the other end, but he did make a fine save from a free kick, as he tipped the goalward effort over the bar.
Curzon failed to capitalise on early pressure in the second half, and paid the ultimate price as the Robins filled their scoring boots at regular intervals.
Ben Deegan made a huge impact when he came on in place of Barlow, his first telling contribution being a powerful shot that Ollerenshaw could only parry into the path of Astley Mulholland, who steered the ball into the gaping net.
Shortly after the Curzon keeper failed to hold a Burns effort, Deegan was second favourite to the loose ball, but his never say die spirit was enough to get the ball first and fire home, to rub salt into the wounds Ollerenshaw was to receive treatment after Deegan’s momentum took him into the keeper.
There was no hint of a foul though, same can be said when Burns lost his footing after taking the ball round the keeper, Ollerenshaw’s night made worse as the referee harshly pointed to the spot and Burns made it four.
A flurry of Ashton substitutions followed and as a result their attacking impetus dropped although Matty Kosylo was a lively addition on the right wing as he caused numerous problems for the Curzon defence.
The home side did grab a consolation through Kristian Dennis, but by then the Trophy was already heading its way back to Hurst Cross.
Ashton United starting XI: Smith, Frost, Caldecott, Beattie, Robinson, Lynch, Mulholland, Burke, Burns, Barlow, Peers