First Team - Report
Trafford FC v Curzon Ashton FC Match Report
Curzon won this game, threw it away and then salvaged a point in another dramatic finale in this highly entertaining Boxing Day game.
After completely dominating the opening period, Curzon went in at half time with a slender 1-0 lead, but Trafford had posed so little threat, no-one could see it being anything but a formality to wrap up the game in the second half.
Curzon began the game brightly and only Andy Robertson’s intervention prevented Kris Dennis’s pass from reaching Chris McDonagh who would have had an open net to aim at in the sixth minute.
Seconds later Robertson saved his side again as a slick move saw Sam Walker play in McDonagh down the right and his cross was met by Lee Blackshaw, his header arrowing towards the bottom corner, but Robertson made a magnificent save to turn the ball for a corner.
Curzon were having plenty of possession but were struggling to break through the home defence, but another corner saw a chance go begging when Walker’s perfect delivery caused havoc in the Trafford defence, but Andy Watson’s final effort went too high.
On 26 minutes Curzon’s passing carved the defence open and Dennis put the ball in the net but he was on the wrong end of a marginal offside decision, but a goal was coming and it arrived courtesy of another Sam Walker corner.
David Young had set Blackshaw away down the left and his low cross had been turned for a corner by Robertson with McDonagh waiting to put the ball into the empty net, but it was a short reprieve as Walker produced another great delivery and this time Watson made no mistake, the ball flying into the back of the net to give the Blues a deserved lead.
At that point the Curzon supporters were wondering how many they would win by as Trafford had failed to trouble the Blues defence, but Curzon failed to capitalise and didn’t create another clear cut chance, although there was little to suggest Trafford were going to get anything from the game, with only a few long range shots, mostly off target, to mildly trouble Josh Ollerenshaw in the Blues goal.
Whatever was said in the Trafford dressing room during the interval certainly worked as they came out looking a different side in the second half.
They immediately began to press the Curzon defence and the Blues were slow to respond, and Curzon began to get sloppy with their passing after being put under pressure for the first time.
Ten minutes into the second half, the ball was given away in midfield, and Trafford broke quickly, forcing a corner, and from the flag kick, the ball wasn’t cleared and was eventually forced in by Joe Shaw for the equaliser.
Ten minutes later Michael Oates found himself free racing towards the Curzon goal but he let the Blues off the hook by dragging his shot wide across the face of the goal.
Curzon responded with a Phil Edghill header which failed to trouble the keeper and Robertson made an easy save from McDonagh’ s shot from the edge of the box, but it was now Trafford who were making all the running and it was little surprise when they took the lead.
Michael Oates had again missed the target with a free shot at goal on 74 minutes later but it didn’t seem to matter as Trafford scored three minutes later. A great diagonal ball was played into the corner and an early cross into the box saw Joe Shaw slam his shot under Ollerenshaw for his second of the game.
Curzon seemed spent as an attacking force with their moves floundering on the home defence and it seemed hope had gone when Purcell and McDonagh exchanged passes, but Purcell’s shot went straight at Robertson.
Ollerenshaw saved from sub Kamahl Whight as the game entered stoppage time, but there had been little to suggest that Curzon were about to pull a point out of the bag, but with two of the four minutes added time already played, Purcell got away down the right and produced a low cross for Graham Kay to volley in from the edge of the box, the ball beating the despairing dive of Robertson to nestle in the corner and earn the Blues what could turn out to be a priceless point.
Match Report by Ian Seymour