Curzon Ashton earned a valuable and deserved point against full-timers Kidderminster Harriers. Curzon were value for their 1-0 lead at the break after they dominated most of the 1st half with some good attacking play and in the second half, they had to defend strongly as a team which they did well with only one breach. Harriers will be disappointed but Curzon could have easily won the game with two great counter attacks in the second half.
It was a lively start at the Tameside stadium with Alex Samizadeh straight into the action down the left-hand side, doing well to muscle his way into the Harriers box, but his shot should have been better, shooting across the box. At the other end, Ashley Chambers found some room inside the Curzon box but Cameron Mason was quickly out to gather.
The next chance to come for the home side was on 6 minutes when Ryan Brooke found Joe Guest on the edge of the box but Guest wasted the chance by shooting high over the Harriers goal.
On 10 minutes Harriers, Joe Ironside was found at the far post by Ed Williams but Curzon defender’s doing enough to put Ironside off forcing him to head wide.
Mason nearly gifted the away side with a goal after 13 minutes when his attempted clearance went straight to Declan Weeks, but luckily for Mason, Weeks fired wide.
Samizadeh was causing problems for the Harriers defence and on 15 minutes he won Curzon a free kick on the edge of the box. He stepped up himself to take it but hitting it low under the wall, with keeper Brandon Hall having it covered.
On 19 minutes Curzon were awarded a penalty after James O’Connor brought down Connor Hughes, Brooke stepped up and hit a poor effort which Hall collected with ease.
The next chance against the run off play when on 29 minutes another penalty was given, this time to the Harriers after Danny Shaw brought down Williams with a trailing leg. Ironside took the responsibility and hit a great effort but Mason was equal to the task and diving to his right getting both hands to the ball to palm it away to safety.
Curzon continued to create chances, on 31 minutes Samizadeh played in Hughes down the right with Hughes shot deflecting off Johnston away for a corner but on 37 minutes Curzon finally found the net. Again it was Samizadeh again who found Hughes with a lovely defence cutting pass, Hughes hit it across the box which Hall failed to gather, Guest was the first to react but his shot hit a defender, which deflected to Brooke at the far post and somehow Brooke managed to squeeze the ball home.
The last effort of the half fell to the Harriers when Joel Taylor delivered a cross from the left to find Chambers free in the Curzon box but he could only direct his header to the arms of Mason.
Curzon went in at halftime with a deserved lead as they dominated most of the attacking play.
Kidderminster started the brighter in the second half, with Chambers having an effort on 48 minutes when he tried to chip Mason, but Mason had it covered, they then forced a corner two minutes later which Shaw had to clear. Curzon having to defend and struggling to get into the final third.
On 55 minutes Curzon finally got going with a great move down the right with Hughes delivering a great cross to find Brooke free inside the 6 yard box, Brooke met the ball with a powerful header but he directed it over the crossbar and the chance went by.
Harriers were still putting a lot of pressure onto Curzon’s back line and chances were coming in droves but Curzon’s defence were holding their lines but it was worrying. Manager John Flanagan quickly made two substitutions with Niall Cummins replacing Samizadeh & Daniel Deakin replacing Paul Marshall.
Kidderminster finally made one of their chances count when on 74 minutes a through ball from Kane Richards found Chambers, he broke clear and ensuring the assistant hadn’t had his flag up, he calmly slotted past Mason to bring his side level.
On 77 minutes there was a stoppage in play due to referee Andy Sykes going down with an injury and having to come off and be replaced by Anthony Ball. Ball was replaced by an Curzon fan and qualified referee.
With play back under way a chance went begging for the Harriers when Lee Vaughan delivered a near post cross to Chambers who headed to the far post where Richards was placed but he could not connect.
With 3 minutes left to play replacement referee Ball awarded the third penalty to the Harriers when he adjudged Mason to bring down Chambers, Richards stepped up and hit his effort wide of the goal, making it the third penalty miss of the game.
In the final minutes of normal time Curzon produced their best break of the half when Guest broke through from midfield finding Hughes down the right, Hughes then cut inside and hit an effort from just outside the box which hit the near post.
The referee indicated 10 added minutes as both sides went looking for the winner.
Harriers came close on 90+5 when Chambers hit the post with a header from inside the 6 yard box, the ball bouncing to Williams who’s effort is turned over the crossbar by Mason for a frantic end to the game.
But Curzon held on for the point with the Harriers being the more disappointed of the two sides.