Curzon Ashton 4, Chorley 2

Chorley defender Mark Ross
Chorley defender Mark Ross

Defensive frailty continued to haunt the Magpies against Curzon Ashton as they again let slip a lead which a strong showing for two-thirds of this game had established.

Defensive frailty continued to haunt the Magpies against Curzon Ashton as they again let slip a lead which a strong showing for two-thirds of this game had established.

But having overturned a one-nil deficit to lead 2-1, they promptly conceded an equaliser and then shipped two late goals in a sloppy four-minutes’ spell late in the game.

Manager Matt Jansen afterwards branded his side’s performance in the last twenty minutes as ‘not acceptable’. Prior to that, he added, ‘the team most likely to win the match was Chorley and the fact that Curzon’s goalkeeper was named man-of-the-match shows that. But the gaps between our back four and midfield were too big. Curzon played well but we have got to defend better than we did today.’

After Max Cartwright had wasted a clear chance by volleying over from ten yards, Chorley fell behind against the run of play on 17 minutes when the ever-dangerous Matty Warburton raced onto a ball over the top and rounded keeper Sam Ashton to score. The Magpies deservedly equalised ten minutes later when a great ball from Mark Ross teed up Andy Bond for a well-taken goal.

The visitors enjoyed a good spell early in the second half and Curzon’s Hakan Burton, the former Clitheroe keeper, made a superb double-save following a corner to deny Andy Teague and then Kieran Charnock attempting to net the rebound. It was no surprise when Chorley went ahead on 58 minutes. Clever footwork by Darren Stephenson enabled him to set up Jack Lynch for a smart finish.

But the lead lasted only two minutes. A quick break by the home side beat the offside-trap and Niall Cummins scored comfortably. Chorley still carried a real threat and Burton saved brilliantly from substitute Lewis Guy and then from James Dean who had athletically engineered the chance.

It all went wrong for the Magpies on 77 minutes as the referee played the advantage during a Curzon raid and Ryan Brooke squeezed an angled shot under Ashton who ought to have kept it out. Then on 81 minutes the Chorley defence was undone by good approach play and Brooke bagged his second and Curzon’s fourth to seal the win. There was still time for Teague to see a looping header cleared off the line by a home defender but in truth the Magpies had too often in this game left the back door ajar if not wide open.

CHORLEY : Ashton, Ross, Cartwright, Teague, Charnock, Cottrell, Hine (Guy,70), Lynch (Rittenburg,80), Dean, Bond, Stephenson. Unused subs. Roscoe, Jarvis, Rigby.

Att. 425