First Team - Report
Curzon Ashton FC v Wakefield FC
Curzon handed the initiative in the title race to Fylde with this draw against lowly Wakefield at the Tameside Stadium.
Curzon were looking a little laboured in the early stages although their defence was easily coping with any attacking threat that Wakefield could produce and the game was 13 minutes old before a real chance was produced when a ball across the box was begging to be converted but three Curzon players all failed to provide a telling touch.
Five minutes later Matty Kay strode through from midfield but then dragged his shot wide of the post. Brian Summerskill then sent a half volley too high and on the half hour a ball chipped into the far post by Matty Purcell saw Chris McDonagh sliding in but he was stretching and could only steer his shot into the side netting.
The blues continued to press and the goal finally arrived seven minutes before the interval, Chris McDonagh heading past the keeper after a defender had cleared an effort off the line.
It could have been two a minute later but Matty Kay steered Sam Walker’s free kick wide of the target and the blues had to be content with a single goal lead at half time.
Curzon began the second half with plenty of possession but it took them seven minutes to fashion a chance. Matty Purcell was fouled as the attempted to get past Darren Thornton but he still managed to pull the ball back for Simon Woodford who produced a great cross to the far post but McDonagh sent a wild volley miles over the bar.
Thornton was then grateful to his keeper who held onto a volley which was misdirected at his own net as he attempted a clearance and as the chances kept coming Sam Walker saw his shot deflect narrowly wide for a corner and from the flag kick Matty Kay’s cross hit the face of the cross bar and over the head of the incoming Andy Watson as Wakefield’s goal was leading something of a charmed life.
In a rare moment of danger for Curzon, Wakefield forced a corner which Ollerenshaw did well to punch clear in a crowded box and then at the other end Kris Dennis headed wided from a Walker cross.
A long punt out by Wakefield keeper Danny Trueman saw Graham Kay head the ball out straight to Micah Bleau but he volleyed over from the edge of the box but then Wakefield equalised on 64 minutes when Caldon Henson got clear of the defence and coolly slotted the ball past Ollerenshaw.
Curzon continued to pile on the pressure and Trueman made a great save to turn away a Kris Dennis pile driver from the edge of the box but the Wakefield goal had given the visitors a new lease of life and suddenly they were causing Curzon problems, and Fernando Mike sent in a curler from te edge of the box which Ollerenshaw did well to turn for a corner.
Dominique Blair thought he had given the visitors the lead on 72 minutes when he controlled a pass on the edge of the box and found the bottom corner of the net but his effort was ruled out for offside.
With time running out fullback Connor Hampson was replaced with winger Lee Blackshaw and he drove the ball low across the face of the goal with forwards moving in, but Trueman gathered cleanly.
As the clocked ticked over 90 minutes a throw-in on the left was headed on by Watson and Matty Kay, for the second time in the game, saw the ball come back off the bar with the keeper beaten. Michael Fish then received a great pass and strode into the area but shot straight at Trueman and in the final seconds another corner saw Graham Kay get his head on the ball and Trueman hung on to secure a precious point for his side.
Wakefield deserved their point and it may be enough to enable them to escape relegation, but Curzon now have to rely on others if they are to win the title.
Match Report by Ian Seymour