Manchester Premier Cup Round One
Glossop North End 1, Curzon Ashton 4
A DECENT Monday night crowd of 157 witnessed an entertaining match between a Glossop North End side showing a number of changes from Saturday and a strong Curzon Ashton squad featuring two former Hillmen in Lee Blackshaw and Nathan Neequaye.
Into the Glossop side came Liam Nolan, Luke Kerrigan, Ryan McNee and Jordan Nightingale to make up a defensive formation with an average age of 18, and they acquitted themselves very well against an experienced Curzon line-up.
The match started at a high tempo with some good passing movements from both sides. On nine minutes Glossop winger Jonny Hirst, making his starting debut in the first team, had the ball in the Curzon net only for his effort to be ruled out for offside.
The Hillmen’s defence held together well during a couple of absences by Jordan Nightingale for running repairs, but was eventually breached on 24 minutes when a cross from the left by Curzon wingman Matty Purcell was deflected in the penalty area for Tony Evans to finish comfortably.
Five minutes later Glossop conceded a second goal after Luke Kerrigan was harshly adjudged to have fouled Nathan Neequaye in the area and Curzon skipper Sam Walker converted the resulting penalty.
The Hillmen bounced straight back and Josh Ollerenshaw in the Curzon goal needed to be at his best to keep out a goal-bound effort by Mark Battersby.
The reward for some enterprising play by Glossop came in the final minute of the first half when a shot by Ste Muir was well saved by Ollerenshaw, but the ball broke clear to Battersby who stroked it home into the empty net.
Curzon started the second half strongly and in the 53rd minute Tony Evans was first to a corner and headed home firmly.
The usual flurry of substitutions by both sides saw Danny Browne coming on for the Hillmen to replace Ste Muir and go up front to partner Battersby. Good versatility from a player who has featured in defence, midfield and attack for Glossop this season.
Curzon continued to press and, on 65 minutes, a shot from the right by striker Evans was well saved by Ashley Hall in the Glossop goal, with the ball seemingly going away for a corner. However, Scott Metcalfe had other ideas as he chased down the ball and converted from the tightest of angles.
The game then largely fizzled out with Curzon controlling the midfield, and both defences coping well with occasional threats.
The final action came late in the second half as a foul on the irrepressible Sam Marshall resulted in a free-kick to Glossop fully 30 yards out. The shot from Simon Thompson appeared to be goal-bound but just passed the outside of the left-hand upright with Ollerenshaw beaten.
An entertaining game, but it is Curzon who progress to the next round of the competition.