First Team - Report
|Cammell Laird||1||vs||2||Curzon Ashton|
Cammell Laird v Curzon Ashton FC Match Report
Curzon collected another three points to extend their unbeaten league run to ten games and the win took them to the top of the table, but they made hard work of overcoming a spirited Cammell Lairds side who have won only one game all season.
Curzon began the game brightly, spraying the ball all over the park at will and it was no surprise when they opened the scoring early. Paul Cliffe was penalised for hand ball, a little harshly as he was stood only two yards from the ball when it was blasted at him. Sam Walker delivered the free kick, Mike Fish flicked on to the far post where Daryl Weston thought he had scored only for Phil Palethorpe to made a great save, but he was powerless as Matty Kay drove home the loose ball.
Lairds began to come more into the game and Cliffe scampered down the left wing before cutting inside, but he then blasted his shot over the bar.
The warning signs were there for Curzon and a minute later Andre Helio burst through the centre of the defence to be stopped in his tracks by Graham Kay. The ball broke to a Lairds forward who put the ball into the net but the referee hjad already blown for a free kick, much to the home side’s disgust. When the kick was taken, Jake Ellis curled his effort wide away from goal.
Curzon had now become wasteful, mis-placing passes and putting crosses harmlessly out of play but on 19 minutes Matty Kay went close to doubling the lead. Spotting the keeper off his line, he tried a volley from 25 yards which dipped a little too late to trouble Palethorpe.
Midway through the half another break caught out the Blues defence and Graham Kay was booked for bringing down Helio on the edge of the box – he was perhaps fortunate not to receive a red card as Helio looked to be through on goal. From the free kick Ollerenshaw made a great save from Ellis and the danger ended when a Lairds player was penalised for handball.
Daryl Weston poked the ball wide of the far post following Graham Kay’s knock down from a corner, but Lairds, who had been threatening on the break all game equalised in the 35th minute.
Another quick breakaway by Helio saw him fed Cliffe on the left, and as the Lairds winger turned back inside he was pushed over by Matty Kay and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Ollerenshaw made a great save, diving to his right to keep out Helio’s spot kick, but he could do nothing as Helio stroked home the loose ball to equalise.
Curzon received a further blow as Daryl Weston went off injured on the stroke of half time, to be replaced by Andy Heald in the centre of defence, and during the interval, Steve Settle came on for Michael Fish as Curzon looked to inject some life into what had been a lethargic, disjointed first half performance.
The second half was almost a non-event. Curzon’s defence played a little deeper to prevent Lairds troublesome breaks but they created little themselves and both keepers could have got out the deck chairs and done a little sunbathing in the unseasonal Autumn sunshine as the outfield players toiled.
The lull was broken in the 62nd minute when Sam Walker rose to meet a great cross from Simon Woodford, but with Palethorpe stranded, Walker’s header crashed against the crossbar. Curzon were now beginning to apply a little pressure on the home defence, without really looking dangerous as the home defence mopped up most things without too much difficulty, but the introduction of Chris McDonagh on 71 minutes injected new life into the Blues and he had restored Curzon’s lead within five minutes of coming onto the pitch.
McDonagh beat the offside trap, getting on the end of a great through ball and he turned a player on the edge of the box and drilled the ball past Palethorpe.
The home side’s spirit sapped a little and they didn’t really trouble Ollerenshaw again and in the final minute Curzon had a great chane to make the game safe. In a carbon copy of their second gaol, McDonagh again latched onto a threaded pass but this time he chose to square the ball to Kris Dennis. His shot was blocked and McNamara just got his toe to the ball to take it away from the lurking Steve Settle who would have had an open net to aim at.
So three points from an unconvincing display but Curzon went to the top of the table with a game in hand as leaders Skelmersdale had only managed a point from their game.
Match Report by Ian Seymour