In what is generally a difficult fixture, Curzon completely dominated and looking back may be a little disappointed that they didn’t take the chance to greatly improve their goal difference, although flag happy linesmen meant that two, and possibly three perfectly good goals were ruled out for offside.
Playing down the slope, Curzon immediately took the initiative, putting the home defence under pressure and in only the third minute Sam Walker found Lee Blackshaw
at the far post who produced a smart finish, but Curzon’s celebrations were cut short by a linesman’s flag for what must have been a very tight decision.
On 11 minutes Curzon again had the ball in the net. The lively Matty Purcell was set free down the right, he played the ball back for Simon Woodford
who drove the ball low across the box. Blackshaw ran onto the ball and slammed home, but again the flag went up although there is little doubt that this was a wrong decision as Blackshaw had run in past a defender to get to the ball.
Having been under the cosh for the opening 15 minutes, Radcliffe suddenly found themselves leading with a goal completely against the run of play. A Curzon attack broke down on the edge of the Radcliffe box, and the ball was played forward quickly. There seemed little danger as the Curzon defence mopped up, the back-pass to Josh Ollerenshaw took a bobble as the keeper swung his leg top clear with the result being that Steve Burke was presented with the easiest goal he will ever score, walking the ball into the unguarded net.
If Curzon were rattled they didn’t show it and immediately went back on the offensive. One of the secrets of Curzon’s success this season has been the quality of their crossing, and it was evident again as Sam Walker’s corner was swung in perfectly for Andy Watson who powerfully headed home in the crowded goalmouth.
Curzon took the lead on 28 minutes with a goal created with a brilliant run by Lee Blackshaw
. The Blues forward showed what he is capable of when he took on and beat four defenders, getting to the bye-line and then pulling the ball back for Matty Kay who gleefully notched his tenth league goal of the season.
Curzon’s second goal seemed to spur Radcliffe into action and for a spell they put the Curzon defence under pressure for the first time, and Ollerenshaw had to be alert, first to save from Chadwick after some good passing by Borough and then he had to turn a deep cross over after the ball seemed to be sneaking under the crossbar.
Curzon though ended the half on top and Purcell set up Walker whose 20 yarder skimmed a post and then Culkin needed two attempts to smother a shot from Matty Kay with Blackshaw waiting to pounce as the half drew to a close.
Curzon began the second half as they finished the first, and Culkin got down well to turn Blackshaw’s 20 yard shot round the post and the McDonagh headed wide from Purcell’s probing cross, but it was 3-1 on 58 minutes. The home defence made a mess of clearing a goal kick, McDonagh won the ball and strode into the box, shooting for the far corner. John Hardiker got in the way and diverted the ball past Caulkin, although the goal was subsequently awarded to McDonagh.
Three minutes later McDonagh had the ball in the net again, heading home Purcell’s curing cross, but for the third time in the game a linesman flagged for offside, and once again it appeared that the benefit of the doubt had gone with the defending side despite the directive that the forward should be given the benefit.
After that the Blues seemed to take their foot off the gas, and although Borough saw plenty of the ball, they posed very little threat and Ollerenshaw had an easy afternoon in his goal. Radcliffe played the last 15 minutes with ten men after Andy Bell limped out of the action after falling awkwardly with no-one near him, and Borough had already used all their subs but the Blues failed to take full advantage although most of the action was in the home goal mouth, Curzon were unable to find another goal.
Match Report by Ian Seymour