27 Dec 2020 in Match Reports
It was nearly a case of ‘not again’ for The Nash at Southport, with another battling performance almost missing out on the points. That was until recent signing, Dan Cowan, turned in a tremendous corner from Man of the Match, Craig Mahon.
The Nash visited Haig Avenue off the back of a tough run of games against a host of full-time teams without much in the way of reward. With the weather forecast to worsen during the 90 minutes, Curzon played against the wind that was roaring over the Jack Carr stand and out towards the school end. As a result, clear chances in the first half were hard to come by but both Mahon and Stephenson created several chances from good wide positions but missed the end product in the box.
Southport opened the scoring in the 18th minute. A long throw in from former Curzon man, Mo Ali, wasn’t cleared from the box and fell to Carver 8 yards out who drove his shot past the helpless Cam Mason.
Despite the advantage of the wind, Southport seemed to want to slow the game throughout. It appeared an unusual tactic given that they would be playing in to it in the second 45 minutes.
Clear chances were few and far between but Southport would’ve been disappointed not to have doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time. A good breakaway saw their effort turned round for a corner.
1-0 at half-time.
The impact of the wind was made clear in the second half where Steve Cunningham’s side started brightly with much greater control of possession and created several half chance in the opening 10 minutes of the half.
Although very commanding in the air and around his 6 yard box, the Southport keeper, Hanford, struggled to keep the ball in play from a series of goal kicks which underlined the tough conditions and his questionable decisions to slow the tempo in the first-half.
On 72 minutes the Nash got their reward. A perfectly flighted free-kick from Irishman, Mahon, was met deliciously by loanee, Harry Flowers. His third goal in his short time at the club. Flowers celebrated his goal with 120 yard drive out towards nearby Royal Birkdale.
Just two minutes later it felt like a case of ‘here we go again’ for Curzon. A fantastic strike from the Port right was saved by Mason but the ball swirled towards the far post and the Southport number 7, Connor Woods, who was very lively on the day, bundled the ball over the line and Matty Waters into the frame of the goal in the process. Curzon’s appeals for a foul on Waters were turned down and the home side were a goal up again.
Rallied by the goal, Southport pushed for a third but a fabulous save from Mason in the 86th minute kept The Nash in the game going in to the final stages.
With the home side’s approach in mind, the ball felt like it was only in play for a small proportion of the 45 minutes on the clock so it was no surprise when the referee signalled a minimum of 4 minutes additional time.
Two minutes in to added time it felt like Manchester United at the Nou Camp in 1999. Mahon played the part of David Beckham with another wonderfully accurate corner and Dan Cowan was the man on hand to turn the ball over the line (maybe not so Solskjaer like!).
The equaliser was exactly what Curzon deserved from another tough contest that could have seen at least one red card, but was officiated with calm control, which was nice to see.
2-2 at full-time