The Bulls looked to continue their upturn in form at home following their cup upset against National League Rochdale AFC, with ex-Harrier Ethan Freemantle scoring the deciding goal.
The game started fiery from the start as Cam Mason is called into early action as a Alex Babos cross is knocked on from Ethan Freemantle, but the shotstopper punches away over bodies to safety.
Cam Mason was later booked for an altercation in the lead-up to a corner alongside Kyle Howkins. The visitors would draw first blood as Alex Kenyon loops a ball forward for Craig Mahon to chase, with the player-manager applying enough pressure on full-back Aaron Skinner who played the ball inside, not realising his keeper Curtis Pond rushing out, Issac Sinclair then rolled the ball into an empty goal, 0-1. Devon Matthews would also find himself in the book after the referee adjudged him to be halting a promising attack with his foul on Jack Tolley.
Alex Babos would send another dangerous corner into Curzon’s box with Jordan Lyden seeing his header crash off the far post into the path of Kyle Howkins, who smashes the ball past Cam Mason to level the scores, 1-1. The hosts could’ve punished the Nash even further at the start of the second half with Jack Tolley being sent through 1-on-1 with Cam Mason but the Nash keeper coming out on top in this occasion.
The second-half also marked the return of forward Hayden Campbell following his transfer back from Macclesfield on Friday, Hayden previously scoring 7 from 18 appearances for the Tamesiders. Hayden Campbell would be involved right from the off as he sent through Isaac Sinclair on the right, crossing in for Jimmy Spencer, with the ball bouncing off the Nash captain’s head for volley from Adam Barton but wasn’t enough to beat the bodies on the line for Hereford.
Yusifu Ceesay would create the next opportunity for the hosts as he picks up a diagonal switch from the back, cutting inside, finding Alex Babos who shoots from range, through bodies and past a rooted Cam Mason, 2-1. This would spark the downfall of the Nash at Edgar Street but not before Kyle Howkins was shown a second-yellow following the centre-back kicking the ball away as the referee blew up for a Curzon foul.
This would become the theme of the closing stages as Cam Mason arrives late to a Curtis Pond long-ball, picking up the ball just outside his box in a lapse of judgement, seeing his second-yellow and first red for the club in 187 appearances. Marcus Poscha would replace the dismissed keeper with his first action coming from the following free-kick, making an incredible save onto the crossbar but not enough to keep substitute Adam Rooney from notching another late goal against the Nash, 3-1.
The game would then dissolve into controversy as Devon Matthews sees a second-yellow for dissent and goalkeeping coach Kieran Bentley also sees red for his protests. Despite the late card drama, the Nash could’ve reduced the deficit before time as Jimmy Spencer places his header just wide of Curtis Pond’s right-hand post.
Craig Mahon shared his thoughts on the final moments ‘I don’t think they’ve (officials) had a great game’ and ‘it was a circus at the end’. Craig also highlighted the importance of a ‘reaction, which comes Tuesday’, adding to this by stating that ‘don’t think we’ve played to our full potential’.
Hereford 3-1 Curzon Ashton
Vanarama National League North – Match Day 12
Saturday 21st October 2023 – 15:00
Attendance – 2,932
Referee – Neil Pratt
Edgar Street, Hereford, HR4 9JU
Next Fixture – Scarborough Athletic (H)
Match Report by Rhys Hastings Owen