While legging it past the East Cheshire Harriers athletics track to make it for the whistle, I wasn’t feeling totally confident, of making the start of the game or the result. Memories still strong in my mind of a lacklustre Curzon Ashton performance against Guiseley, and watching Bradford Park Avenue pulling York apart.
On arrival at Tameside Stadium, once I had caught my breath, I was so glad it was back. There was a strong turn out from supporters, Bradford Park Avenue’s strip that seemed to be modelled on a Germany kit from the 1950s and there was a steward nailing a chicken balti pie.
My initial fears were starting to fade watching Curzon in the early stages, they were giving Bradford a lot of bother, and on the odd occasion they were getting it back the defence looked solid.
A fairly early goal for the Nash saw their confidence grow and grow, and the final 5-0 result was nothing less than they deserved, and quite frankly, it could have easily been 7 or 8.
So, what would I say we have learnt?
Curzon have learnt to defend
I have moaned at length about Curzon’s struggles keeping a clean sheet. However they saw no real issues doing so today, and Cam Mason only had to make one proper stop. Some strong, confident defending meant Mason could pop his feet up for much of the game.
There were clean strong tackles that Stuart Pearce would have been proud of, and Isaac Sinclair skinning a Bradford midfielder with a bit of skill not often seen at this level went down very well with fans. Bradford Park Avenue was not able to cause the Nash any real headaches and meant the forward players could spend time causing a real nuisance to the Bradford Park Avenue keeper.
Faith in the young players has paid off
Curzon Ashton does not have the funds of many teams at this level and has long been reliant on very young players. Something that hasn’t gone unnoticed, “we’re getting beaten off a youth team” wailed a Park Avenue fan.
However the young team under some good coaching from Mark Bradshaw looked to have come good. Adding to this the signings of Nicky Wroe (himself an ex Park Avenue Player) and Andrew Halls adding a bit of stability and invaluable experience to the young side. If today taught us anything it is that Curzon is developing and improving young players. There are some young men playing for the Nash at the moment who may have a serious future.
I’m wary not to get carried away, one game in, but the Nash was fantastic in their opening game. The support was excellent and I hope there are momentum and confidence that we can carry forward over the next few weeks.