Curzon Ashton will live to regret squandering chances against Gateshead
In what was a fairly even start to the contest, it was Curzon that looked the more comfortable of the two, having a lot of the ball. Although controlling the game, the home side found it fairly difficult to break through a very physical Gateshead back line.
The first chance came for Curzon on the 15-minute mark when Josh Askew hit an excellent first time right onto the head of Evans, however the chance was squandered. This opening chance seemed to break the ice in what had been a slow start for both sides, and the first half became much more open.
As Curzon became more confident in the game, a break came when Owen Watkins burst down the right-hand side. As Watkins broke free, he fell to the ground in the area, in what looked like a certain illegal challenge from Jake Cooper. When the referee’s whistle went it seemed to be a certain penalty, however Watkins was deemed to have gone down too easily, and the chance was gone.
After 25 minutes, Gateshead grew in confidence. A burst of pace from Barrow earned his side a cheap corner against the run of play. A quick corner routine lead to Mitch Curry finding himself free, but his shot was scuffed wide, and Cam Mason had his first job of the afternoon in collecting the ball from behind his goal.
Curzon continued to dominate the chances. Another came on the half-hour mark when Josh Askew beat his man on the left and whipped a low ball into the area, only to be gathered by Gateshead keeper, Brad James.
In the aftermath, Curzon retrieved the ball through Askew and played Broadbent through, however Gateshead’s full-back appeared to handle the ball in his own area whilst clearing. The result; another strong penalty claim for the hosts went begging.
As we approached the 40-minute mark, Owen Watkins continued to get the better of his man and cause trouble both through the right flank and through the centre. In the 40th minute, he broke through the right-hand side and played a dangerous cross onto the head of Broadbent, but again the chance was wasted.
On the 43rd minute, a rare break came for Gateshead when a long ball was played between Mo Ali and Danny Shaw. The pair both went for the ball in their usual fearless nature, luckily however, nothing came of it and Josh Askew was available to clear up.
As we approached the half-time whistle, the visitors gained some momentum as they earned themselves a cheap free kick on the right wing. The chance came when Askew went to ground in what seemed a fair challenge. Despite that, the ref was straight to his whistle, almost before the challenge had been committed. The resulting freekick was wasted as Nicholson blasted the freekick over the heads of his teammates.
As the 2nd half got underway, it was clear that Gateshead had stepped up a gear. Mo Ali found himself under pressure in the opening minutes, and the visitors created a couple of half chances from the right-hand side.
The first clear cut chance of the 2nd half came when Owen Watkins found himself in space around 20 yards from goal. He fired his effort on target, but the Gateshead keeper produced a save for the cameras.
As the game opened up, half chances came in numbers for both sides. As Gateshead attempted to move the ball out from the back, Calveley came in with a careless challenge and saw himself rightfully go into the book.
As the hour mark approached, Gateshead began to dictate the game; controlling possession of the ball. On the 65th minute, a long ball almost caught Mo Ali out, but the Somalia international showed is quality and cleared up with ease.
In the 67th minute, Danny Shaw misjudged a high ball in the centre of the field, and the visitors were quick to pounce on the mistake. Jordan Pearson picked up the loose ball and from 30 yards out, forced Cam Mason into a fantastic first save, however Gateshead substitute Ruairi Keating latched onto the rebound and sent his side into the lead.
A fantastic opportunity came for Curzon when George Broadbent cleverly found himself free on the left. His subsequent cross was inches away from finding the outstretched right foot of Andrew Halls. From the resulting corner, the ball bounced around in the 18-yard box before the ball was blasted clear from the line. Curzon continued to cause trouble for the leaders and were looking the more likely to score.
Just as Curzon were looking the more dangerous of the sides, a chance for the visitors came when Barrow excellently beat Josh Askew and worked the ball into the path of Jordan Pearson, who’s cheeky backheel attempt struck the post of Cam Mason’s goal.
After a quiet few minutes, Danny Shaw found himself in trouble again as he failed to deal with a high ball. After making a strong impact, it was again Keating who found himself in the thick of it as he forced Cam Mason into another save, this time from around 18 yards.
In the closing stages of the game both sides looked to have tired, with the quality on show suffering as a result. Curzon became very wasteful in possession, and there was little to no movement off the ball as the side struggled to find a chance for the equaliser.
As the game came to a close, Curzon’s afternoon was summed up when Oliver Thornley picked up the ball for one final opportunity. His subsequent 20-yard pass flew past Mo Ali and the whistle was blown for full time.
The result meant that Gateshead made it 8 games without defeat, whilst Curzon Ashton remained in 19th place, and still relatively close to the drop zone. Mark Bradshaw’s men will certainly be looking to capitalise on the chances they’ve been creating if they want to improve results.
Match Reprot by Jack Earl
Match Pictures by Oli Biddle