BY JAMES BRISCOE
Curzon Ashton advanced to the quarter finals of the Doodson Sport League Cup tonight at the expense of Nantwich Town thanks to goals from Matthew Kay, Saul Henderson and Matthew Dell.
The Dabbers’ free-scoring central defender and captain, Darren Moss, managed to get on the scoresheet to make it 1-2 after May and Henderson scored for The Blues.
Moss’ close-range pile-driver from an Alex Meaney free-kick led to a highly promising 20-minute period either side of half time for the home side involving a handful of good chances.
Luck was a stranger to The Dabbers’ forwards though and an equaliser was beyond reach leaving Curzon’s Dell to finish off the tie with a delightful lob from the edge of stand-in goalkeeper, Lewis Reid’s area, on 85 minutes.
Nantwich started the game confidently having most of the ball but Curzon showed no fear striving to create from the off.
Curzon’s Kay sent out a warning shot early on as he was allowed to strike on the turn inside the penalty area but the striker’s shot went narrowly wide.
After Niall Maguire’s shout for a penalty was turned down Kay punished Nantwich’s defence for not heeding his threat on 17 minutes as he picked up the ball unmarked 15 yards out sweeping in to the net just out of the reach of goalkeeper Reid.
Nantwich then had another hopeful spell with Ryan Dicker, who picked up a knock on the night, heading just over from a Caspar Hughes corner.
Curzon soon displayed their clinical finishing again as Henderson tucked the ball home from a cross by Samuel Walker following a clever one-two with George Bowyer.
At 0-2 the prospect of a win for Nantwich looked as bleak as the weather but The Dabbers rallied looking for a way back in to the game.
Maguire put Simon Everall through on goal but failed to get a shot off due to the strong physical presence of Andrew Watson before Nantwich debutant Tom Bentham nearly profited from the away defence’s indecision only for his clipped shot to be gathered by Matthew Green.
At a point where Nantwich were wracking their brains and feet to create a goal they scored from a long Meaney free-kick which fell to Moss who viciously struck the ball on the half volley past Curzon’s Green on 32 minutes.
The Dabbers then looked the most likely side to score again with their goal visibly lifting their spirits and pushing them an extra yard to every ball.
Shortly after Moss’ strike Meaney again showed his expertise from dead ball situations as he curled a free kick from 30 yards on to the foot of Curzon’s right post.
In the second half Nantwich’s sub, PJ Hudson, managed to hit the stanchion with a powerful left-footed drive but while Nantwich looked dangerous going forward they also showed vulnerability to Curzon’s countering abilities.
Curzon’s Matthew Purcell was a constant threat from the right wing and he picked up the ball after several Nantwich attacks then ran down the touchline where he put in a number of dangerous crosses.
Kyle Wilson came on for Chris Bailey after 59 minutes who seemed to be suffering from a rib injury and he looked to hold up the ball and put in an inviting cross which Everall could not reach on 68 minutes.
Wilson then had his own chance to make it 2-2 but he failed to get sufficient power on a shot in space only 10 yards from goal.
The Dabbers kept plugging away but could not take their chances which was the story of the night as the most clinical team won.
With not long left the home fans were in good voice and there was still hope that their heroes could win an equalising goal however Curzon substitute, Matthew Dell, executed an audacious lob from just outside Reid’s area on 85 minutes.
Curzon’s three goals tonight mean they have scored 26 in their last 10 games.
Nantwich: Reid, Moss (c), Bailey (Wilson ’59), Hughes, Dicker, Raglan, Aaron Cole, Maguire, Bentham (Windsor ’70), Everall, Meaney (Hudson ’45).
Subs: Declan Hassall.« Back to all news