It was lift off for Curzon Ashton’s preparations for the new season as goals from Danny O’Brien, Sean Miller and Callum Saunders helped them cruise to victory over Cheadle Town.
With planes headed for Manchester Airport regularly flying overhead at the picturesque Park Road Stadium, there was rarely any turbulence for Curzon in a professional display.
After a summer overhaul, there were seven debutants in the Nash line-up and it took only three minutes for one of them to make an instant impact as O’Brien calmly, but precisely, side footed the ball into the far corner from Miller’s through ball.
Miller then got his own name on the scoresheet five minutes later after Jack Banister showcased terrific pace to outstrip Cheadle’s right back and squared for the onrushing striker who produced a bullet first time finish.
Banister was causing chaos in the Cheadle defence from his starting point on the left wing and only a smart stop at the near post denied Curzon a third before the quarter hour mark.
Nicky Wroe - formerly of Barnsley and Preston – captained the side on his first start and the experienced midfielder was key in asserting Curzon’s dominance of the ball although Cheadle were working hard to prevent the scoreline worsening after their nightmare start.
Mark Bradshaw brought on another two debutants as the game approached the hour mark with Brad Lynch and Kallum Mantack replacing danger men O’Brien and Banister.
The changes came thick and fast after that with Mark McCoy, Jack Sloan, Elliot Cooke, Danny Shaw, Saunders, Jack O’Leary, Trialist A and Trialist B replacing Purdham, Ali, Thornley, Regan, Askew, Wroe, Evans and Miller.
Lynch came within inches of extending the Nash’s lead as the substitutes looked to instantly impress; Mantack’s blistering run and cross from the right fell to Lynch at the back post, but his half volley came crashing back off the post.
The third goal finally arrived at its destination in the 90th minute when Saunders flicked home after Mantack’s mazy run through the Cheadle defence.