Curzon Ashton vs Matlock Town FC
Tameside StadiumFA Trophy
Matlock Town FC0
Curzon Ashton 2-0 Matlock Town
Early and very late goals enabled National League North Curzon Ashton to enjoy a reasonably comfortable passage into the next ro0und of the FA Trophy at the Tameside Stadium.
Matlock retained the side which had started against Hyde in midweek, the Gladiators being on a five game winning run but that sequence seldom looked like being extended against a well organised and drilled home team seventh in the league above.
Clearly the plan from Matlock would have been to stay in the game as long as possible but that took a big hit when they fell behind in only the 4th minute. The Gladiators lost possession from their own free kick and Curzon countered decisively to force a corner from which one of the smallest players on the pitch, STEFAN MOLS, was allowed a free header which bounced past Saul Deeney. Matlock had conceded first and in the 4th minute for the third consecutive outing!
Prior to the goal Harry Wood had done well to block a strike from Mols as it quickly became clear that Curzon’s passing and movement would cause the Gladiators major problems.
Jonny Margetts fired an effort directly at goalkeeper Cameron Mason shortly after the goal but a few minutes later would come another major blow as top scorer Margetts pulled up suddenly and was off straightaway. The diagnosis was not good, a tweaked hamstring that is likely to keep him out for much of the next month.
So as manager Martin Carruthers stated afterwards, it had been a “disastrous” opening eleven minutes for the Gladiators.
Matlock then had to withstand some fierce pressure with their defence standing up well to the task. The visitors were opened up on the left of their defence with Adam Yates doing well to cut out a cross from -Isaac Sinclair. Then within another couple of minutes Adam Barton shot too high before Jimmy Spencer’s shot was weak when well placed.
Nathan Whitehead tried his luck from distance in a brief respite from the pressure but his shot flew over the goal and into the nearby car park. But the pattern continued to remain mostly unchanged with Curzon asking most of the questions.
Barton drove straight at Deeney as Matlock needed the half time whistle to come with no more damage inflicted. Sinclair pulled a shot wide which ensured that it would be only Mols’ early goal that separated the teams at the interval.
Matlock had to be more adventurous in the second half to remain in the Trophy, but the dilemma was committing too many men forward and falling for the sucker punch.
To their credit they got it just about right and they had a good spell early in the second period without extending home custodian Cameron Mason..
But they had to survive a couple of Curzon thrusts first, George Waring being within an ace of finishing off a teasing Will Hayhurst cross and player manager Craig Mahon driving towards the Town penalty box, his shot dropping narrowly wide with the aid of a deflection.
A trademark corner routine involving John Johnston and Joe West nearly came off when West’s probing cross was nearly scrambled home with Matlock now looking more of a threat.
But Curzon still displayed some fine interchanges and Deeney saved well from Sinclair before substitute Rhys Hughes saw his twenty yard shot cannon off the crossbar with Deeney beaten .In this period Mols saws two “goals” correctly ruled out with Matlock getting the offside trap exactly right. And Deeney save well from Jimmy Spencer.
At 1-0 Matlock were still very much in contention albeit on the day against a superior footballing side. They needed to create a good chance and convert it, and that moment arrived in the 76th minute when Whitehead played Alex Duhameau clear of the trailing home defenders. Unfortunately from the Gladiators viewpoint the chance was lost as Mason brilliantly blocked Duhameau’s low shot and a great chance had passed Matlock by.
Matlock made two late changes replacing Karl Demidh and John Johnston with Andrew Wright and Ollie Clark as they looked for the goal which would take the tie to a penalty shoot out. But Curzon stood firm and then confirmed their place in round three when Yates brought down Hughes as the game entered stoppage time. HAYHURST scored from the spot in spite of Deeney getting a hand to the shot and Matlock’s fate was confirmed.
So not a good day at the office with Margetts’ injury probably being of more concern than the defeat. Only 296 fans watched the tie including a good following from Matlock which means there won’t be a lot to come Matlock’s way from the share of the gate .
On the day they were beaten by a better side in what was always going to be a tough assignment.
CURZON ASHTON: 1 Cameron Mason 4 Marcus Poscha 5 Devon Matthews 7 Isaac Sinclair (2 Tommy McDermott 79) 9 Jimmy Spencer 11 Will Hayhurst 12 George Waring (24 Rhys Hughes 58)14 Stefan Mols (10 Miles Storey 71) 19 Jordan Richards 21 Craig Mahon 22 Adam Barton Other subs: 13 Josh Ollerenshaw 16 Dillon Edmundson
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Saul Deeney 2 George Wilkinson 3 Joe West 4 Nathan Whitehead 5 Adam Yates 6 Ioan Evans 7 John Johnston (14 Andrew Wright 82) 8 Harry Wood 9 Alex Duhameau 10 Jonny Margetts (12 Karl Demidh 11, sub 15 Olly Clark 82), 11 Anthony Dwyer Other subs: 16 Jamie Sharman 17 Nat Crofts
REFEREE: Tom Wilson (Newcastle) ATTENDANCE: 296 BEST GLADIATOR: Saul Deeney