After a shaky start to his tenure, Mark Bradshaw has Curzon Ashton flying, winning three games in 2019 already.
There is no denying that Chester this weekend will be their toughest game, their three wins coming over floundering York, and Ashton United and Nuneaton, who look like the most probable candidates for the drop. I imagine that there will be a few nerves as the team head to Wales (yes, really, the Deva Stadium is in Wales by about half an inch).
Chester are flying high in the playoffs, 11 points and 11 league places ahead of the Nash currently. However, their form not being in quite the same rich vein as it was at the start of the season could give Curzon and their fans a bit of optimism about the chances of grabbing something out of this game.
I was initially not happy with the news that Curzon’s long-standing manager John Flanagan had left the club, and I think a lot of people felt the same. Added to this I was concerned about the initial results. However, Bradshaw’s men are now in flying form. He has not been afraid to get rid of players during the transfer window and has made clever signings from lower leagues and academies.
A change is as good as a rest, so goes the saying, and the team have got some fight back. Before Curzon had a bit of a habit of scoring early, and then conceding, leading to picking up draws on games they should have been winning and losing games they should have pinched a point from. This had left Curzon in serious risk of Northern Premier League football next season, but while the defence still needs work, Curzon are playing better and looking dominant in games again.
They have gone from looking like likely candidates for the drop to looking certain to stay up, and they could now be confident now of them finishing solidly mid-table.
Obviously this is against easier opposition than they will face this weekend, however, they can head here off the back of hitting a confidence boosting 4 goals past Nuneaton last weekend and be cautiously optimistic about taking something from this game. If they do that is a major stepping stone to well and truly turning their season around.