10 Jul 2019 in Match Reports
A Liam Davies double ensured Curzon’s pre-season continued with a battling win over Stalybridge Celtic in a physical encounter at Bower Fold
Mark Bradshaw again rotated his side after Saturday’s defeat against Wigan U23’s – Matt Regan was set to return to the starting line-up after missing that game, but an injury picked up in the warm up meant he wasn’t risked with Jack O’Leary taking his place. Nicky Wroe, who has captained the side in pre-season so far, was another absentee and so it was Andy Halls who wore the armband.
Both sides struggled to create chances in the opening half hour and the flow of the game wasn’t helped by a lengthy stoppage so Stalybridge’s Ross Killock could be treated and stretchered off after a collision with one of the Nash’s trialists.
But the game burst into life shortly before half time when Davies curled a magnificent free kick into the top corner past the despairing dive of the Stalybridge goalkeeper Winterbottom.
It could have gotten even better for the visitors just moments later, but Winterbottom was on form this time to deny Danny O’Brien.
The lead was doubled, though, five minutes into the second half – and in slightly fortuitous circumstances. Davies’ cross from wide on the touchline was aimed for the back post but ended up floating over the head of the helpless Winterbottom and under the crossbar.
Those two quick goals either side of the break gave Curzon the confidence to control play despite some heavy challenges coming in from the hosts and they maintained that control during the standard slew of second half substitutions.
Stalybridge set up a nervy finale when Declan Walker – who had only signed for the club in the morning – blasted a free kick past Cam Mason with ten minutes remaining.
But Curzon stayed calm and with almost the last kick of the game when Brad Lynch burst through and slotted the home to wrap up an impressive win ahead of a bigger test on Saturday against Stockport County in our first friendly of pre-season at the Tameside Stadium.