Curzon pick up first away victory

National League North: Kettering Town 1-2 Curzon Ashton

Curzon Ashton turned their fortunes around with a deserved three points on the road against the 10-men of Kettering. Goals from Dom Knowles and Darren Stephenson secured the victory for Steve Cunningham’s men.

Curzon had the first chance of the game when left-back Matty Waters played Stephenson in on goal. The striker took his strike early, but Collin in the Kettering goal was equal to his effort. Minutes later, despite the promising early start, Curzon found themselves a goal down. From a set piece, the ball from the left was met by Kennedy who confidently nodded the hosts into the lead.

From then Curzon offered the greater threat. Pushing for the equaliser, Knowles had two chances to get his side on level terms, the better of the two seeing a last-ditch block from the Kettering defender deny him his goal. 

However, he wouldn’t be denied on his next chance. Neat play from Curran down the right-hand side saw the ball come into Stephenson’s feet. The striker’s effort was saved by the ‘keeper but he only parried it into the path of the onrushing Knowles who tapped the ball into an empty net.

Neither side created another chance until 10 minutes into the second half. The first chance of note in the second 45 minutes came for the home side when a deflected shot on the edge of the area hit the side netting of the Nash goal.

The chance seemed to spark Curzon into life, and they took the lead not long after. A long Doug Tharme throw in was brilliantly controlled by Stephenson in the area. The big striker then turned his man, skipped past another two defenders before emphatically dispatching the ball into the Kettering net.

Kettering’s task of getting back into the match was made even more difficult with 15 minutes remaining. Ben Milnes was sent for an early shower by the referee for a cynical shirt pull on Jude Oyibo. The challenge earned the defender his second yellow card and reduced the hosts to 10 men.

Despite late pressure from Kettering, Curzon held on to record their first win in three games and end a run of three consecutive defeats. The result lifts the Nash to 12th in the league ahead of their next match at home to AFC Fylde. 

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