Tag Archives: tameside

Bradshaw’s Rollercoaster Season Has Set The Building Blocks, However, Strengthening in One Key Area Could Be The Key For Next Season

It’s been a rollercoaster season to support Curzon. From staring down the barrel of relegation to looking at one stage like they might have a chance of reaching the playoffs and landing the Frank Hannah Manchester Premier Cup.

Mark Bradshaw has made great strides with this team despite a slightly rocky start over Christmas. He hasn’t been afraid to make changes, getting rid of players, and making some clever signings, making the squad a bit less dependent on young players on loans from league team academies. Curzon’s dream run did come to an end, but the building blocks have been built for a really good season.

If I was in the boardroom at Curzon, and there is probably a good reason that I am not, I would be looking to improve the back line. Curzon seemed to be holding on for draws until late defensive errors saw them come away with nothing, it also saw them come away with draws in games they should have won.

They never seem to have an issue finding the back of the net but keeping more clean sheets should be a real priority, having only kept 3 in 17 games in 2019. If this can be tightened up it would make an enormous difference to their season, as I truly believe they should be aiming for the playoffs this season, but they really need to stop dropping points.

The other point I would make, is probably out of Bradshaw’s hands, but I would really be encouraging more people to go to the ground! Getting FC United crowds week in week out is unrealistic, but Tameside stadium is a really smart set up for this level of football, with a bar and seats and toilets that aren’t in a shed, oh Curzon how you spoil us.

While Curzon aim for the playoffs next season it would be great to see the club find a way to pull big crowds, a lift for the lads on the pitch and makes it a more intimidating place to go for away teams, and who doesn’t like atmosphere at a game.

I’m feeling very optimistic about next season and hopefully tightening up defences could see The Nash as a real force to be reckoned with.

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Curzon Win The Frank Hannah Cup For The First Time Since 1990

Curzon Ashton v Mossley was a final only four years ago, that day Mossley came out on top winning 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw within the 90 minutes.

Today Curzon had the chance to avenge that defeat back in 2015 and win their first Premier Cup since 1990, having been runners up three times (1993, 1996, 2015).

Hyde United’s Ewan Field stadium was the stage for the Frank Hannah Manchester Premier Cup final. The artificial pitch certainly gave both sides a chance to play some decent football.

Early on Deakin found himself in lots of room down the Nash’s right hand side, and looked to cause a lot of problems for the Mossley left back. The game settled into Curzon attack and Mossley defend type of game, and after 20 minutes Ryan Brooke broke free from the defence finding himself 1-1, he checked back to send a shot home far post. The goal was coming as Curzon piled the pressure on.

Mossley started to play with a high line, Curzon cottoned onto this and started to ping balls over the top. However, the Nash’s strikers found themselves offside more than on.

Just before the half time whistle, Mossley made it 1-1 and it certainly got the teams wheels motoring as they turned up the pressure on Curzon who went into the second half wondering how they weren’t in front.

The second half started and both sides had early chances to pinch in front. Mossley having the best chance following a passing move that many Premier League commentators would have been waxing lyrical over.

However, the pattern of play fell into a similar to that of the first half, with Curzon dominant and knowing they had more gears to find should they need it.

Just past the hour mark following great play by the impressive Luke Wall on the left, it was played across for Louis Wardle to shoot and a harsh deflection helped loop the ball over the goalkeeper.

Mossley had chances, however man of the match Wall sealed the trophy with an excellent solo goal down the right side. Intercepting the ball half way within his own half and going on a run which saw him slot the ball home from the corner of the six-yard box.

The 686 in attendance were treated to a good final. One that Mossley can take heart from as they went toe-to-toe with a team two divisions above them. It was simply the difference in levels that made the difference in the end.

Things have looked good under Mark Bradshaw since he took over, and maybe this trophy could be the start of an exciting era going forward for the Nash.


Newly Formed Football Club Follo FC Looking to Help Dads Through The Power of Football

I’m sure for the vast majority, when someone mentions amateur teams, the first thing to spring to mind is pub teams and people who work in airports pulling 11 bedraggled and hungover souls together on a Sunday morning.

However, Follo FC are a little different.

Follo FC, Follo standing for, For Our Lost Little Ones, are a new team founded in Tameside to support fathers who have lost children. Despite admirable work of many charities and heath organisations, men talking about and suffering with grief mental and health issues remains a massive stigma for many, and the importance of groups like this are immeasurable.

The loss of a child is a, mercifully, unusual situation. However, this can leave people who have experienced this isolated. The introduction of teams like this which give their members a chance to step away from their situation for the length of a training session, as well as meet people who have been in the same position and maybe have a better idea of their experience and a better idea of how to support them.

The match is a game supported by the Curzon Ashton FC foundation, and is against another local team, Infinity Initiatives FC who work to support and raise awareness of mental health issues in the local area. The game is at Curzon’s own Tameside stadium, and hopefully gains a lot of support from local football fans, especially as it falls on an international break!

Setting up a team of this ilk is as brave as it is important and being hosted at such a brilliant local ground. Supporting Follo FC is supporting the growing movement around removing the stigma around grief especially in men, and hopefully this is a movement that can grow well beyond Tameside.

The very best of luck to them all.

Find the details of tomorrow’s 1pm charity match here on Follo FC’s Twitter page

Fixture Congestion Not a Problem For Bradshaw’s Curzon

Curzon playing on Saturday and Monday always threatened to be a bit of a challenge. Fixture congestion can be problematic at this level of football, where players are semi-professional and need to fit these around the commitments the rest of us have, 9-5 employment and general life admin that the professionals do not need worry about.

The Nash came into these quick fire matches after a thumping defeat at home to Altrincham, where they saw 6 sail past them. When this happens and things don’t go to plan it’s important that, while errors are learnt from, a line does need to be drawn and the teams need to move on.

The first fixture saw Curzon playing high flyers Bradford Park Avenue, who I saw play earlier in the season and they pulled York apart with ease. Curzon did not let themselves be intimidated by their opponents after going 1-0 down, and pulled back two goals. While some might see Curzon finishing with a 2-2 draw as disappointing, I feel it was a performance to be proud of and showed a lot of guts to get themselves back into the game after going down while playing away to classy and well supported opposition.

Guiseley AFC offered a kinder chance to come away with three points, having not won a game since new years day, as well as Curzon’s home advantage. It was a pretty miserable night in Tameside, but Curzon came away with something to cheer about, 3 points in an uneventful 1-0 win, with a goal in the first half from Lewis Reilly.

A workman like competent display from the Nash saw them hold the scoreline, and keep their first clean sheet since the 19th of January. Also something to reward the fans that came to watch in the icy rain.

It’s all pretty close, and Curzon are still only 9 points away from the play offs, with teams who started well starting to struggle for momentum and others starting to gather a bit of pace. It’s hard to say if Curzon’s remarkable phoenix from the flames bid from relegation worries to play off contenders is still realistic.

However, the Nash, with Mark Bradshaw at the helm have shown that they aren’t here to make up numbers, and are looking like they have a real chance of bettering their previous best ever season (11th in this league) and heading into next season as a real force to be reckoned with.

Curzon Run Continues…On to The Cup Final

Curzon Ashton’s remarkable recovery in the league has been well documented, however they are carrying on their run of form elsewhere. 

The Frank Hannah Manchester Premier Cup may not trip off the tongue but it’s a great tournament for local clubs, with semi-professional and non-league clubs getting a chance at their day in the sun, or more accurately, evening in Oldham. Traditionally it’s been dominated by Tameside clubs however FC United have lifted it the last twice. 

There is no chance of them defending it this year following their expulsion from the competition for fielding an ineligible player, and the cup is sure to go back to Tameside with the results from last night leaving Curzon Ashton and Mossley in the last two spots. 

Curzon had to get past National League high-flyers and high-rollers Salford City to get to the semi-final, which is no mean feat. Their opposition this time around was Chadderton FC and therefore a short trip to Andrew Street. Which is a true non-league ground with limited infrastructure and tucked away on a terraced street, it’s worth a visit if you are decidedly anti concrete bowls, and according to a colleague when I mentioned the fixture to them, “is well near Asda.” Convenient. 

Curzon came into this game in a brilliant run of form, and this was a big chance for them, with Chadderton playing in North West Counties division one – two leagues below the Nash. Curzon came in with a brilliant attitude and were utterly dominant. Putting a remarkable 8 goals past Chad. The confidence from their rapid improvement in the league was evident, and they played fantastically throughout. The scoreline was thoroughly deserved, and credit to the players and coaches for deciding to throw the proverbial kitchen sink at this tournament, despite some important league games coming up. It will be fantastic for fans to get their trip to Oldham and guarantees a big game for the club even if they fail to make the playoffs. 

Mossley, who are in the same league as Chadderton saw off Radcliffe Borough on the same evening, with the final result being 3-2. So the traditional Tameside Derby will return to Boundary Park at a yet to be confirmed date. If Curzon are in their current run of form the Lilywhites, while deserving respect, could be a great chance for a bit of silverware for Curzon this season, and following on from a recent article about making sure that fans are really getting behind their team, I’ll make sure I’m there.

Curzon’s Key Matches In February in Quest for Unlikely Playoff Hunt

Curzon’s most recent result of a 1-1 draw leaves them unbeaten this year and hopefully won’t put the breaks on too heavily on their chances of a playoff place.

There are two games this February I think are crucial to the Nash’s hopes this season…

The first falls this weekend against Hereford away at the utter beauty of a football ground that is Edgar Street. Curzon are comfortably clear of Hereford in the National League North so you might wonder why I think this is an important game. Well, years of supporting Manchester City in their difficult years in the 90s and 00s have taught me many things, mainly about staying warm and the location of chip shops in Reading, but also that you cannot get complacent against any team.

Hereford should be easy for a team playing as well as Curzon who are currently hard to beat, however, if they go in with that attitude and Hereford go in battling in an attempt to avoid the drop, they could drop points that they shouldn’t be.

Staying focussed against this opposition is crucial. On paper, it looks an easy three points for the Nash, and if they come away with that it could be a huge step to their playoff dreams. However, taking a point from this would mean a lot to Hereford and I imagine they will be throwing the kitchen sink at this game. Curzon need to make sure they go into this respecting this opposition, keeping the upward curve in improvement with their back line and hopefully walking away with the points they deserve.

The other game I think could have a huge baring is Altrincham at home at the end of the month. This is for two reasons, the first of which is that Altrincham are floating far higher up the league than they are, currently in the playoff, and a good performance against them is a real statement that Curzon are playing better than they ever have and are a team to be taken seriously at this level.

The second is that playing well would be a confidence boost to the team itself who will have a tough game away against Bradford Park Avenue for their first March game. Bradford PA are almost certainties for the playoff spots and I saw them pull York apart earlier this season, they will be tough opposition on home turf. However, if they have performed well against Altrincham it will be a bit of hope that they can head to Horsfall Stadium with a real chance of taking something from one of their toughest remaining games this season.

Red Rebels Aim To Rock Robins in Huge 6-Pointer

The Red Rebels look to edge closer to safety in this weekend’s local derby against The Robins. This Saturday sees two of the National League North relegation favourites, FC United and Ashton United hoping to edge closer to safety in the weekend’s massive six-pointer derby.

The two clubs sit close to the foot of the table as FC United are currently sitting in 20th and Ashton United are positioned 21st, 4 points behind their Manchester rivals. FC United are making the short trip to their neighbours Ashton United in a huge match for both clubs at Hurst Cross this Saturday.

The Reds have recently halted a run of four consecutive defeats after such a bright start under the clubs third manager Neil Reynolds, who replaced Club Legend and record goalscorer with 103 goals for the Moston outfit, Tom Greaves, in August 2018,. However, after last weeks shock result of the weekend When FC United managed to score three past title contenders Bradford (Park Avenue) at the Horsfall Stadium, the reds are hoping their impressive away record, which has previously seen them comfortably beat Kidderminster, Altrincham, Blyth and Hereford, will give them the upper hand against Ashton with them struggling to hit top form at home.

The last time these two clubs met was a night for the underdog on August 7th. FC United looked to be on their way to picking up their first 3 points of the season as they were comfortably 3-1 ahead at the break, however, the reds defence seemed to have disappeared minutes after the second half commenced. In no time, the newly promoted opposition were back in the game with the scoreline at 3-2, and by the end of the game had completed the come back with a 4-3 victory.

This Saturday’s fixture will be FC’s chance to start building confidence with back to back victories and, kicking on after Christmas as is their tradition over the last few years. Neil Reynolds will be keen to see the good performances of recent weeks which have not delivered the results they possibly deserved, repeated but this time the result included with goals added to the performances This promises to be a game not to be missed and a large crowd is anticipated due to the short distance between the 2 teams and FC’s renowned travel support.

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