Halls earns dramatic win for the Nash!
Andy Halls’ dramatic 93rd minute goal gave Curzon Ashton a precious three points over Telford United to end a run of 14 games without victory.
It looked like it was going to be another tough afternoon for Mark Bradshaw’s men when Mo Ali unfortunately turned the ball into his own net midway through the first half.
But Sean Miller’s penalty got the Nash back on level terms going into half time and with the game seemingly heading for a draw, Halls tap in sparked wild celebrations inside the Tameside.
The game was often scrappy on a freezing afternoon, but the Nash battled to the last on a day where it was all about the result rather than the performance.
A further bonus was the return to the team of Robbie Evans after over two months out with a broken ankle. The midfielder showed no ill effects from that long lay-off in his 80 minutes on the pitch as he put on a man of the match display.
Also back in the starting line-up was Mo Ali – returning from his three-game ban – and Danny Shaw as Bradshaw made three changes from the team that lost to Gateshead during the week.
The game started slowly with both sides matching up formations resulting in an initial stalemate.
The Telford bench were left scratching their heads midway through the first half as to how they weren’t in the lead. Brendan Daniels’ cross found Matt Stenson unmarked six yards from goal, but he somehow scuffed his shot over the bar.
The visitors didn’t have to wait much longer for the opening goal, though, when Darryl Knights’ cross was turned into his own goal by Ali. An unfortunate incident for the Somalian defender, but if he hadn’t attempted to intercept the pass Stenson would have been left with an open goal at the back post.
Having fallen behind again, the Nash’s heads may have been expected to drop. However, their mentality remained strong and Evans earned them a path back into the game when he danced away from two defenders in the box before being brought down. Miller calmly sent Matt Yates the wrong way from the spot.
The second half was a tense affair between two teams desperate for three points and the game was often broken up by niggly fouls.
A couple headed chances from Ryan Barnett for the Bucks and Mike Calveley for the Nash was as close as either team came in the opening exchanges of the half.
Callum Saunders replaced Isaac Sinclair and nearly claimed a spectacular second goal when his overhead kick dropped just wide.
Barnett again threatened for Telford, this time with a long-range effort, but with both teams struggling to create any clear-cut chances it appeared the game was petering towards full time.
That was until the dying embers of injury time when a series of Curzon corners led to the winner. A Telford defender collided with his own goalkeeper and the ball dropped kindly to Halls who turned and swept home his first goal for the club in what could prove to be a huge moment in the Nash’s season.
Match Report by Sam Hendry