Report by David Jones
CURZON ASHTON 2, CHESTER FC 1
CURZON Ashton came from behind to beat Chester FC at the Tameside Stadium and book a place in the third round of the Buildbase FA Trophy.
The tie, involving National League North rivals, saw managerless Chester take the lead late in the opening half through Charlie Jolley.
But Adam Lakeland’s side hit back in the second half with strikes from Jack McKay and Adam Thomas, the latter in the 87th minute, to snatch victory.
On a bitterly cold afternoon, Chester arrived with interim manager Danny Livesey in charge for his first game after the departure of joint managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley.
In the early stages, both sides cancelled each other out with very few chances which did not trouble either goalkeeper.
Curzon’s Jordan Lussey and Marcus Poscha had shots which were both blocked and for Chester George Glendon saw his effort dragged wide of goalkeeper Chris Renshaw’s far post.
Chester should have taken the lead after 39 minutes when they broke leaving a one-on-one chance, but a superb block saved the day.
However, one minute later a cross from the right found ex-Curzon player Jolley at the back post. His header hit Poscha on his thigh and deflected past Renshaw to give Chester lead, though the goal was credited to Jolley.
In the second half Jack Dunn had the early chance to draw Curzon level after Alex Curran played him in for a one-on-one with keeper Louis Grey, but he wasted the chance hitting the side netting.
Chester’s Jack Redshaw made Renshaw work to push his shot away, but Curzon quickly launched a counterattack with the ball finding substitute McKay who slipped the ball under Grey to draw Curzon level in the 55th minute.
It was the introduction of McKay that saw Curzon become more of an attacking force and his pace was a constant worry for Chester’s back four.
A big chance came for Curzon to take the lead after 69 minutes when they were awarded a penalty, Matthew Waters stepped up, but his effort was well saved by Grey at the near post which swung the game in Chester’s favour.
Ex-Curzon midfielder Luke Clark was inches wide when Chester were awarded a free kick around 20 yards out, then Redshaw hit the crossbar from 25 yards out as Chester went looking for the winning goal.
At the other end, former Stockport County player Thomas dragged an effort wide.
However, Curzon grabbed the winner after 87 minutes when Chester failed to clear a corner with Thomas having two bites at the cherry to blast the ball high into the roof of the net.
On reflection, there was not much between the sides, but Curzon had more of the chances and deserved their place in the next round.