11 Aug 2019 in Match Reports
Sean Miller's late strike rescued a point for Curzon Ashton as they maintained their unbeaten start to the season against Leamington, but they will be disappointed not to have grabbed all three after playing against ten men for nearly an hour.
A Josh March penalty gave Leamington a first-half lead as the Nash conceded for the first time this season amidst a gale-force wind which played havoc with the flow of the game.
Junior English's sending off just two minutes after the opening goal seemingly could have swung the game back in Curzon's favour.
But Leamington's dogged defending frustrated the Nash in the second half and with the game looking like it was slipping away, substitute Miller saved the day with his second goal of the season.
After recording consecutive clean sheets, it was no surprise to see Mark Bradshaw name an unchanged back four in front of Cam Mason and there was only one change from the team that played Southport with Callum Saunders making his first start at the expense of Liam Davies.
Conditions were not conducive to good football as the wind blew in at the exposed Phillips 66 Community Stadium and the ball spent more time in the air than the ground in the first half.
With the wind against them, Curzon had been quiet going forward but created the best chance of the game with half an hour played.
Saunders burst onto Luke Wall's through ball and took aim for the bottom corner only for Jake Weaver to produce a stunning reflex save.
Five minutes later and Leamington made Curzon pay for that missed chance when March got the better of Mo Ali inside the box and was brought down by the central defender, giving referee Ed Duckworth no choice but to point to the spot.
March took the spot-kick himself and gave Mason no chance with a confident strike into the top right corner.
A goal advantage for the hosts, but almost straight from the restart they had a man disadvantage when Junior English picked up a second yellow card following a cynical foul on Michael Elstone.
The Nash took the initiative from that point on and pressed forward in the second half, although Leamington remained a threat on the counter-attack.
Jack Banister, Isaac Sinclair and Miller were all introduced as Curzon threw everything forward only to be met by a defiant Leamington defence.
Just as they looked to be running out of ideas, the equaliser arrived five minutes from time.
Miller received the ball from Askew 20 yards out and unleashed a fierce effort which found the bottom corner with the aid of a slight deflection.
Nash tails were up and they were inches away from grabbing a dramatic winner in injury time when Saunders rose to meet Andy Halls' cross, but he couldn't keep his header down.
Curzon: Mason, Halls, Ali, Thornley, Askew, Wroe (Miller 72), Evans, Merrill, Wall (Sinclair 72), Elstone (Banister 60), Saunders.
Subs not used: Shaw, Davies.