Reviewed: Mark Bradshaws’ First Month in Charge
Time flies, and it’s already been a month since the slightly acrimonious managerial change at Curzon Ashton. which saw Mark Bradshaw take charge at the Tameside Stadium.
It was a shaky start to his time at the club, as they headed to Moston for their first game to take on FC United at Broadhurst park. FCUM were ahead after a mere two minutes, extended the lead after half time, and to add insult to injury Curzon got a straight red shortly after the second goal. FC United looked to be one of the easier fixtures, and I’m sure I wasn’t alone in being slightly concerned by this turn of events.
It looked to be on the up, and three points looked possible away at Kidderminster before they grabbed a 90th-minute equaliser, which was cruel as they had played solidly throughout.
Over the congested Christmas period, I imagine most fans were happy to write off the game against Chorley, who are at the time of writing 3 points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand. However, I also imagine several would have been confident about the home fixture against local rivals Ashton United, who have not been enjoying the rub of the green of late. While a thriller of a match with no less than 6 goals, it was frustrating to see 4 of them go to Ashton United. Curzon’s defensive issues really came to light for the last thirty minutes of the game and I’m sure there were a few frustrated fans heading home after that.
The reverse leg of the fixture was played on New Years day and unsurprisingly saw a big turnout from both fans. Curzon were completely dominant in this fixture, which wasn’t represented in the half time scoreline of 1-0 to the home team, due to a slightly controversial penalty. However Curzon came out with excellent passing accuracy and control to grab 2 goals in four minutes and despite a late flurry from United, the Nash held their nerve and defended well and held the scoreline at 2-1, picking up their first league win since October.
They were able to carry this confidence over to York, with a workman like 1-0 win at home this weekend.
Things are starting to look up for Bradshaw’s side and I hope they are able to continue this run with some confidence behind them for their next two fixtures, away matches at Nuneaton and Chester. He has also shown some intelligence in the transfer market, picking up Craig Lingfield from Nantwich FC, and also negotiating well when Championship football came calling for the talented Olly Crankshaw. Crankshaw will soon be enjoying the bright lights of Wigan, however not before finishing off his season at Tameside Stadium on loan.
Hopefully this confidence winning two games on the bounce will continue throughout the season, and some clever moves in the transfer market can give fans a bit of optimism for the rest of the season.