On a rainy night at the ArkFleetech stadium, Chadderton FC and Curzon Ashton went head to head under the floodlights for a place in the final of the Frank Hannah Manchester FA Premier Cup. With the torrential conditions, both teams knew this wouldn’t be an easy game to reach the final.
Straight from the get-go, ‘Nash showed their attacking intent for the game with their first attempt coming in the first 30 seconds, with Luke Wall racing through on goal putting his effort just over the bar.
Curzon kept up their early intense attacking presence, with Chadderton struggling to keep them at bay, giving away a penalty in the 3rd minute after Olly Crankshaw was brought down in the box.
Crankshaw stepped up and drilled his penalty kick home into the back of the net giving Curzon an early 1-0 lead in difficult playing conditions. Within a matter of seconds from being awarded a penalty, it was a moment of déjà vu as Crankshaw was again taken down in the box and a second spot kick was awarded. This time it was Luke Wall slotting home, giving the Nash an early 2 goal lead. The floodgates opened and the goals kept coming for Curzon as Lewis Reilly tucked the ball underneath the keeper to make it 3 and John McAtee with a close-range header to make it 4-0.
With the final now looking out of reach for Chadderton, they would not go down without a fight and for the last 10 minutes of the first half, Curzon could not get past the strong Chadderton defensive.
However, just before the half-time whistle and as the worst of the rain came down, Curzon took a chance against the run of play and made it 5-0, as Reilly snuck in at the back post and tapped the ball into the net.
Coming back out to brighter conditions in the second half, Chadderton had a lot of work to do if they were going to get anything from the fixture. Curzon started the game attacking, creating chances again but Chadderton had fixed there first-half defensive issues and kept the opposition at bay.
Becoming difficult to break down, Chadderton were playing a much better half and gave Curzon a good fight. However, an unstoppable shot from Luke Wall made it 6 goals to the good for the ‘Nash as he curved the ball form outside the box into the bottom left corner.
Against all odds, Chadderton still kept fighting but it still wasn’t enough to keep a very strong, attacking Curzon team at bay as Ryan Brooke scored a well-hit header to make it 7 for the Nash, with an 8th following soon after, via a Chadderton error which Reece Deakin took full advantage of.
At the final whistle and despite the difficult playing conditions, it was Curzon Ashton who had comfortably secured their place in the final, where they will play Mossley AFC after their win against Radcliffe FC on the same night.
Final details including dates and a venue will be announced in the coming days.