Curzon Ashton’s preseason comes to an end in a tightly contested 0-0 at the Tameside against National League opponents FC Halifax Town
Coming off the back of a 4-3 win against Altrincham two weeks ago, Steve Cunningham’s men were looking to make it two on the bounce against Halifax Town. Despite not being able to make the breakthrough, being held to a goalless draw, defensively Curzon played fantastic. Clear signs of Cunningham’s tactics and strategy are beginning to shine through.
Initially the match was a cagey and tight affair with neither team taking a real hold. A couple of mediocre chances fell for Curzon through some early attacks from Mahon down the right-hand side.
Halifax’s first chance of the game came in the 23rd minute. After some tight passing around the midfield, the ball fell to Halifax full back Jeff King on the top of the box. After cutting onto his left King managed to unleash a strike however it was easily matched by Mason at his near post.
Curzon for the rest of the half were the much more dominant side. On the 32nd minute Curzon were awarded a free kick on the edge of the opposition box. Yet again though struggled to take advantage.
Throughout the game new attacking midfielder Alex Curran showed glimpses of why Cunningham brought him in on loan for the season from Stockport. Curran was constantly looking for the ball, trying to make things happen and showed real quality. On 44 minutes to finish the first half the new man fired in a low effort, but had it saved from the Halifax keeper.
To Begin the second half, Halifax perhaps had their best chance of the game. Halifax striker Woods met the ball in the air after a great cross but failed to hit the target.
The first change of the game came in the 56th minute as Curran and Southern made way for Stokes and Hughes. A couple of minutes later a new trialist, Poscha and Mahon were switched for Thornley, Oyibo and another new trialist.
Following the substitutions Halifax had a strong 15-minute period in which they began to show their quality. On the 64th and 74th Stokes and then Turnbell cleared away to shots off the line. As said earlier, Curzon put on a real defensive show in this finally friendly of the preseason.
The final 15 minutes of the game began to finally see some fast, end to end flowing football. On the 84th minute Whitham had a headed chance towards goal but couldn’t quiet generate enough power to knock it past the keeper.
A final change came for Curzon on the 89th as Poscha came back on for an injured Whitham.
Following the game Cunningham said ‘I was very happy with the performance and we played very, very well. We were organised, composed. We worked hard, the fitness levels were there. It was everything i was looking for after the longest preseason in the world.’
Next weekend sees the first game of the new season as Curzon Ashton FC take on FC United in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup.
Match Report by Mitchell Wright