Farsley FC v Curzon Ashton FC Match Report
Curzon collected another three vital points for their promotion push at the home of play-off hopefuls Farsley.
Though the score line seems to indicate a close game, Curzon were rarely in danger of taking anything but all three points and they have now beat Farsley three times this season, having also knocked their Yorkshire rivals out of the FA Trophy.
Playing with a strong wind at their backs, Curzon began on the front foot but an early raid on the Farsley goal broke down before Curzon could make the most of the opportunity. Farsley then went on the attack and Josh Ollerenshaw was forced to put a back pas into touch as a Farsley forward closed him down. From the throw-in, Farsley managed to put the ball across the face of the Curzon goal, but fortunately for Curzon no-one could get a touch to open the scoring.
After not playing for three weeks, Curzon took a little time to settle, but once they were in their stride they began to control the game and Farsley’s answer was to produce some crude fouls, which apart from giving the free kicks, went unpunished by the referee.
Most of Curzon’s good work was down the right hand side whit Matty Purcell prominent and his eighth minute pass sent Simon Woodford striding into the area, but he then seemed to be caught in two minds before his driven cross-shot was well held by home keeper Tom Morgan.
Ollerenshaw tipped over a long range effort from Williams which seemed to be going over anyway, but the Curzon keeper was taking no chances, and that was virtually the last time he was called upon in the first half and for the next 30 minutes Curzon had the chances to put the game to bed.
McDonagh beat the offside trap and found himself one on one with Morgan, but the Curzon striker dallied and the ball was eventually cleared for a corner. From the flag kick, Morgan required two attempts to hold a stinging Jordan Goodeve 20 yarder after the home defence had only half cleared the ball.
On 18 minutes Lee Blackshaw intercepted a Mark Jackson pass and raced for goal but he pulled his effort wide across the face of the goal and then Morgan was in action again, turning over a Matty Kay piledriver but a goal was coming and it arrived in the 24th minute.
After yet another foul on Matty Purcell, this one on the right side of the penalty area, Sam Walker took the kick quickly whilst the home defence was still getting organised and Blackshaw glanced home a header in off the post to give Curzon a deserved lead.
A mix up in the Curzon defence almost let in Ben Jones, but Ollerenshaw recovered to claim the ball in a rare moment of danger for the visitors but at the other end Morgan failed to catch a cross under pressure from McDonagh but the Farsley defence eventually scrambled clear.
Just before the interval a great ball from Woodford put Blackshaw in the clear and he produced a great finished but it was all to no avail as Blackshaw was rightly flagged offside, and as the teams ended the first half there was some concern that Curzon would struggle playing into the strong wind in the second half and that they might come to rue their missed chances.
As it transpired, Curzon were forced to defend for long periods, but they rarely looked like conceding and they continued to make the better chances. Just two minutes after the restart a ball from Blackshaw to Matty Kay should have seen the Curzon midfielder add to his tally but his touch was too strong and Morgan was able to gather the ball.
Curzon didn’t have ling to wait for their second goal though and it was a goal of real quality as Curzon tore through the home defence. The ball was cleared from defence to Blackshaw who played it early to Matty Kay. He in turn swept it wide to Purcell and his low cross was perfect for the waiting Chris McDonagh who converted at the far post to put Curzon well and truly in the driving seat.
On the hour, Dave Briggs should have perhaps done better, putting a weak shot wide after he had made room for himself for Farsley’s first real chance of the second half, and then the same player became the first and only player of the afternoon to be booked, as once again Matty Purcell was on the receiving end of a crude challenge. Why the Farsley players were allowed to get away with so made poor challenges will remain a mystery, but it was perhaps no co-incidence that Briggs was substituted shortly afterwards for fear of him receiving a second yellow card.
With 20 minutes remaining Curzon should have scored a third goal when they broke into the opposition box and Matty Kay looked certain to shoot but then squared the ball for Lee Blackshaw, who was perhaps caught a little off guard not expecting the pass. Nevertheless, he should still have scored, but crashed his shot against the crossbar from the edge of the six yard box, the home defence then scrambling the ball clear.
With seven minutes remaining, Farsley had produced little in the way of a goal threat but they then gave themselves a lifeline when the ball was fed to Duncan Williams on the edge of the box, and his shot may have been going wide but took a deflection off a defender which left Ollerenshaw helpless to prevent the ball crossing the line to make it 2-1.
Farsley threw everyone forward, with even the goalkeeper going up for a late corner and they were almost punished when Curzon broke, but Wes Milnes got back to clear as the ball was rolling towards the unguarded net.
Mike Fish, a late substitute for Lee Blackshaw, had a chance to wrap up the points as the game entered it’s dying minutes. He collected the ball on the left and cut inside, but a defender got back to clear the ball off the line, but it didn’t matter as the referee blew for full time shortly afterwards and Curzon celebrated another three points.
Match Report by Ian Seymour