Curzon Ashton 4 Chorley 2 (21/11/15).
The trip to Curzon Ashton will complete one more a visit for me to every ground in the National league North, National league South, National league, Football league one and two, the Championship. the Premier league and all four Football divisions in Scotland. it’s a target I maintain every season.
Curzon Ashton play at the Tameside Stadium in Ashton-under-Lyne in Manchester. The club was formed in 1963 after the amalgamation of two clubs, Ashton Amateurs FC and Curzon Road Methodists FC. Originally they were called Curzon Amateurs before changing to their current name. They started life in the local Manchester league before moving to the Cheshire league in 1978. By 1982 the club joined the North West Counties league as founder members. In 1987 Curzon became founder members of the Northern Premier league first division. By 1997 the club were having problems and oddly moved to the North east counties league for one season. Sense seemed to prevail and the powers to be moved the club back to the North West Counties league the following season. Success on the pitch saw promotion to the North West counties league first division in 2000 and by 2007 the club was promoted to the Northern Premier league North Division. From 2014 the club has had two more promotions from there through the Northern Premier league Premier division to the National league North.
Curzon Ashton used to play at the National Park ground until they moved to the Tameside stadium in 2005. Regrettably I did not get to that former ground. Blyth Spartans first ever win in the Northern Premier league after promotion from the Northern league was against Curzon Ashton in 1994. Blyth won 2-1 that day thanks to both goals from Tommy Ditchburn. Unfortunately I was at work many Saturdays back then so I missed that visit. Blyth have played them since in recent seasons but I was unable to get there as both matches were midweek and once more work got in the way of things.
In major cup competitions they were semi finalists in the FA vase in 2007 when they lost a two legged match against Truro City. In the FA cup in 2008 they got through to the First round of the FA cup when they beat Exeter City 3-2. They lost away to Kidderminster in the next round.
‘The Nash’ play at the Tameside Stadium and it was officially opened by Sir Alex Ferguson. Outside the ground a statue is in place commemorating three local born players, Geoff Hurst (west Ham, England), Jimmy Armfield (Blackpool, England) and Simmonne Perotta (Roma, Italy). The ground has a capacity of 4,000 including 524 seats. Two terraced area stand behind each goal although both are uncovered. A much larger terrace runs half the length of the pitch down the side of the ground opposite the main stand. This terrace has a really high roof (about 20ft) which seems to defeat the purpose as you still felt exposed to the elements on a bitterly cold day like today.
Today’s opponents were Chorley and both teams were about mid table. The visitors seems to dominate right from the start and as you often see in matches, the first goal come against the run of play. Matt Warburton opened the scoring on 17 minutes. Ten minutes later Bond equalised for Chorley and both teams went in level at the break. After half time Chorley restored their lead
(Lynch) on the hour but about a minute later the home side were back on level terms (Cummins). From this point the game seemed to change with Curzon coming into it on equal terms. With 12 minutes to go they really turned up a gear and two goals in three minutes sealed the points for Curzon.
During the match I warmed up at half time in the club house and caught up with the scores on tv. I got talking to a Curzon fan who was talking to me about life in the National league North. Sadly he was telling me at one away ground in the league where they need a Police escort out of the stadium after a number of home so called ‘fans’ attacked their group of only 20 which included women, children and pensioners. Its one of these clubs with a ‘big club, green street’ mentality among a mindless minority. I have had problems at this particular ground (which I cannot mention) and many other Blyth fans do not like this place either. Thank goodness you have friendly places like Curzon Ashton to maintain the good name of football fans.
The crowd appeared top be nearly half Chorley fans and it a shame that Curzon have done so well in recent years yet gates are not great. They did have a small number of fans that cheered them on complete with a drum banging their cause. I Like a drum at games. Hopefully Blyth Spartans will strive for promotion and I may return to this ground once more. Possibly on a Saturday this time!