Tag Archives: tameside

Joel Senior’s Future Looks Very Bright After Joining Burnley From Curzon Ashton

Curzon Ashton, like many teams at the Non-League level, has a squad with a number of players who haven’t quite made the cut in the academy system in other clubs.

However, for the likes of Ollie Crankshaw and Joel Senior, the opposite is true, and they have been spotted by other clubs.

Senior, in particular, has landed himself a five-tier leap up to Premier League club Burnley. For a player still in his teens, this is an incredible opportunity. We had a brief chat with Mark Bradshaw, the manager of Curzon Ashton who is delighted for the young player who he described this as being the “opportunity of a lifetime” for this “strong dynamic full back” and mentioned that many clubs were interested in him.

This will be a big leap and a learning curve for such a young player, who spent most of his career at Curzon playing for youth teams. He will go from playing with semi-pros to being in what is regarded, as one of the best and most competitive teams in the league. Potentially marking the likes of Lingard, Sterling and Salah next year, which sounds daunting.

However, I imagine for this young player this would be the stuff of dreams, as he will playing with players who would have been England regulars when he was very young, such as Joe Hart and Peter Crouch.

There is still a way to go I’m sure before he is a first team regular, and some time in the u23 ranks awaits. Nevertheless, it would be wonderful for a club with so many young players to produce a true Premier League regular, both for Joel and the club.

I’m sure all Curzon fans will join me in wishing him good luck, as will manager Mark Bradshaw.

We Look Back at Curzon Ashton’s Season Roller Coaster and What Could Be In Store For The Nash Next Season

I think a fair few Curzon Ashton supporters are sporting a few extra grey hairs at the end of this season. It been a somewhat dramatic one with some remarkable moments but, plenty of games fans would be keen to forget.

The season started promisingly enough with an away win at Darlington. A strong October, then results started to dip with the temperatures and there wasn’t a league win for the Nash in November.

There was the surprise and slightly tempestuous dismissal of manager John Flanagan, who had been at the club since 2011. It was not a smooth start for Mark Bradshaw either, with the Nash losing three of four games in December, including to league struggles Ashton United and FC United. This left Curzon Ashton with the very real possibility of being in a battle to stay up.

New year, new Nash, as Curzon entered the new year with a bang and totted up four wins on the bounce, including against high flyers Chester. This lead to a lot of talk about an unlikely bid for a play off place. Wins against Alfreton (In possibly the most bizarre game I’ve seen ever) and Hereford further strengthened this claim, before there was a bit of a bump down to earth with an away loss to Brackley and a thumping at home to Altrincham.

They looked to make a speedy recovery with a draw against high flyers Bradford Park Avenue followed by two further wins.

However, it all seemed to go a bit Pete Tong in the league, managing to be the first team since October that Guiseley pick up three points off, and not winning another league game, including ending the season with a 5-0 loss at home.

All was not lost, however, as Curzon flew through to the final round of the Manchester Premier cup and saw off Mossley comfortably in the final. This really gave fans something to cheer in a difficult season.

So what’s next for Curzon?

This is a tough league to get out of but on their day, The Nash are a good enough side to make them something to really be feared.

I’ve banged the drum about needing to make sure that they tighten up their back line. They are good up front but conceded far to many goals. Sharpen this up, draw a line under a difficult end of season and hopefully come into the next season fully wound up and ready to go and make an impact.

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.

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.

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.

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