17 Apr 2018 in News
Curzon Ashton: Mason, Thornley, Guest, Hunt, Shaw, Regan, Baillie, Marshall (Clark 78), Cummins (Wharton 28), Brooke (Baker 81), Dunwoody.
Substitutes: Clark, Baker, Wharton, Beesley, Crothers.
Nuneaton Town: Etheridge, Wildin, Heaton, T. Elliott, Langmead, Johnson, Ferry, Daniels, Chambers, Mitchell (Nabi 76), Nti.
Substitutes: Wright, Lyness, Nabi, A. Elliott, Casey.
Curzon Ashton Goalscorers: Thornley 16, Baillie (pen) 66.
Nuneaton Town Goalscorers: Wildin 40, Langmead 90.
An injury time equaliser from Nuneaton Town's Kelvin Langmead denied Curzon Ashton a crucial three points in an enthralling encounter at the Tameside stadium.
A win would have all but ensured Curzon's place in the National League for a fourth consecutive year, but they twice threw away the lead and now lie just four points above the relegation zone with three tough fixtures to come.
Oliver Thornley's cross-cum-shot gave the Nash an early lead before Luther Wildin's mazy run and cool finish pulled Nuneaton level five minutes before half time.
Man-of-the-match James Baillie restored the hosts advantage from the penalty spot midway through the second half before Langmead's 90th minute hooked volley broke Curzon hearts.
Curzon manager John Flanagan aimed for continuity with his starting eleven, naming the same team that played against Leamington 48 hours earlier.
And he was rewarded for that loyalty a quarter of an hour in when the ball came to Thornley attacking down the right wing for the first time.
Whether or not the wing back meant what happened next is up for debate, but his spectacular effort from the right-hand corner of the 18-yard box flew over the head of Nuneaton goalkeeper Ross Etheridge and into the top corner via the post.
Nuneaton’s lively attacking duo of Ashley Chambers and Kairo Mitchell nearly carved out a quick-fire equaliser for the visitors only for the latter’s close-range effort to be smartly palmed away for a corner by Cameron Mason.
Curzon were dealt an early blow just before the half-hour mark when their leading goalscorer Niall Cummins was forced off through injury, Ben Wharton coming on as his replacement.
And five minutes before the break Nuneaton did find a leveller through the unlikely source of right back Luther Wildin as he jinked his way unchallenged through the Curzon defence and fired beyond Mason from 12 yards.
Half-time Curzon Ashton 1-1 Nuneaton Town
Nuneaton dominated possession at the start of the second half and were close to taking the lead when Mitchell just couldn’t stretch his neck far enough to connect properly with Chambers’ teasing cross.
However, it was the Nash who re-established their one-goal advantage midway through the half, this time from the penalty spot after Baillie played a neat one-two with Joe Guest on the edge of the box before being wiped out by a Nuneaton defender.
Baillie then stepped up to take the penalty himself and confidently sent Etheridge the wrong way.
From that point on it looked like there was only going to be one winner with Nuneaton failing to trouble the Nash goal and Baillie and Wharton both being denied in one-on-ones with Etheridge.
But as the clock ticked past 90 minutes, disaster struck for Curzon as auxiliary centre forward Langmead latched onto Ryan Johnson’s hopeful long ball and was left completely free to hook an excellent volley past Mason and into the bottom corner to earn Nuneaton an unlikely point.
By Samuel Hendry