Curzon suffer FA Cup heartache

FA Cup second qualifying round: Curzon Ashton 1-2 FC United of Manchester

As the heavens opened and the rain poured it was FC United who came out on top in this season opener.  

The game was off to a quick start with FC United the early, dominant side. Inside the opening ten they had two good chances through Ennis however stand in goalkeeper Theo Roberts was equal to both making two comfortable saves. 

However, the Curzon defence could only withstand the pressure so long until on the twelve-minute mark FC United striker Regan Linney gave the visitors the lead. Linney from off set looked quick, sharp and strong and produced quality moments all afternoon for the Reds. 

The lead was short lived though as Matty Waters slotted home a cool goal under the United keeper just two minutes later. After getting a hand in some good possession, the Curzon midfield linked together some quick passing down the left side of the box, playing Waters in who eventually took his opportunity. 

On twenty-seven Minutes Dale Whitham suffered an injury which ultimately put an end to his afternoon, being replaced by Southern. A key moment in the game. Just as it felt Curzon were beginning to get a grip of things and dictating the tempo and pace of the match, having arguably the best on the ball midfielder taken off made things difficult. 

Knowles set chase to a delightful lofted pass from captain Robbie Evans however was caught just half a yard offside. 

Just before the half time whistle Turnbull had a free kick from the edge of the box. The free kick was from a difficult position as it was central to the goal. A couple of yards either side and it would have been a real problem for the FC United keeper. This saw an exciting end to the first half with both sides playing some quick, direct, attacking football. 

As things got back under way in the second half it was a similar story as FC United looked the stronger side out the gate once more. Immediately Ennis showed some great skill and tricky feet as he danced past the Curzon defence however the shot wasn’t enough to trouble Roberts who easily covered his front post and gathered the ball up. 

United again went close with a well worked free kick from the right side of the box yet had it tipped over the bar.  

Several minutes later United would win another free kick, although this time made it count as Ennis, who had a fantastic game, put the ball into the back of the net to give his side the lead. As the game ran deeper and deeper into the second half it became clear that FC United had more games under their belt already this season. The fitness and sharpness from the Curzon players was really began to fade and they couldn’t pose any real threat in the second half. 

Just before the final whistle Turnbull made one last fantastic defensive effort, running almost the length of the pitch to get in the way of a United counter which had they scored, would have put a real dampener on a wet opening day for the boys in Blue. 

As the referee blew the final whistle it was a performance that the Curzon side knew was not good enough. A disappointing showcase and not a true reflection of the potential, they know they can reach. With the league opener on Monday night at home to Alfreton Town, Cunningham will be hoping for an immediate bounce back from his players. 

Pictures by Oli Biddle @BiddleOfNowhere


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