Curzon Ashton FC v Lancaster City Match Report
Third placed Witton Albion, Curzon's nearest rivals for second place could only draw on Friday night which allowed Curzon to go five points clear in second place.
With leaders AFC Fylde not looking likely to slip up with three games to go, Curzon looked to cement home advantage for the play-off finals.
Curzon got off to a great start when on launching their first attack the ball fell to top goal scorer Kristian Dennis to put the ball away in at the near post. They could have gone two up in the fifth minute when Dennis let the ball run through his legs following a cross from the right for Graham Kay, but the ball came to quickly for him to take advantage.
After a bright start the game settled without much goalmouth action until the 19th when Curzon's keeper Joshua Ollerenshaw had be alert to push a shot up into the air then punch clear as Lancaster had their first effort. Three minutes later Brian Summerskill broke from Curzon's midfield to get onto a loose ball but he steered his effort high over the crossbar.
Curzon went further ahead on the half an hour mark after they were awarded a free kick, it was played towards Michael Fish at the back post but it was City's Captain Alex Kenyon who got the final touch to score an own goal.
Curzon were in full control of the game without Lancaster worrying them which was a surprise as they were lying just outside the play-off place before today's game and two minutes before the break Curzon virtually won the game when Kristian Dennis lifted the ball over the advancing keeper Martin Fearon to score his 2nd and Curzon's third.
Lancaster with pride to play for nearly pulled a goal back on 49 minutes when Curzon produced some awful defending with the ball being pulled back for City's Simon Wills but he could only drill the ball wide and Curzon got away with it.
On 53 minutes Ollerenshaw had to be sharp to get down to save from a miscued clearance from his defender Andrew Watson as Curzon struggle to settle in the second half.
The game then struggled to excite the crowd with both sides cancelling each other out in the midfield area and no real chances to get the crowd off their seats but in the 69th minutes a blow for Curzon when striker Chris McDonagh was adjudged to go into a tackle two footed and referee Adam Burgess showed him a straight red card to end McDonagh's season prematurely.
Curzon's first good chance of the second half came in the 74th minutes when substitute Lewis Nightingale hit a great strike from just inside City's box which was cleared off the line.
In the final minutes it was City that were creating the best chances Alex Meaney wriggled the ball inside Curzon's box but took the ball too far past Ollerenshaw and lost the chance to pull a goal back but they did pull a goal back In the 89th minute when Curzon's centre back Watson put the ball past his keeper Ollerenshaw after a low cross from the left.
Match Report by Dave Jones