CURZON ASHTON 0-0 KETTERING TOWN

The Poppies unbeaten run under Paul Cox continued on Monday night in a hard fought contest at the Tameside Stadium. Kettering could only name three substitutes on the team sheet because of illness, injury and suspension, but the starting eleven on the field did more than hold their own against an in form Nash side. Matthew Taylor (above) had the Poppies best chance of the game, but home keeper Cameron Mason denied the on loan defender. Full match report to follow.

Vanarama National League North

Monday 2nd December 2019   7:45pm

 

 

Curzon Ashton 

 

 

Kettering Town

 

1

 Cameron Mason

 

 1

 Paul White

 

2

 James Bailie 

 

 2

 Gary Stohrer 

 

3

 Liam Davies

 

 3

 Matt Taylor

 

4

 Nicholas Wroe (Capt)   

 

 4

 Luke Graham  (Capt) 

 

5

 Daniel Shaw

 

 5

 Michael McGrath  

 

6

 Mohamud Ali    

 

 6

 Brett Solkhon  

 

7

 Sean Miller

 Off 84

 7

 Dan Nti

 

8

 Robert Evans

 Off 78

 8

 Aaron O’Connor

Off 84

9

 Charlie Jolley

 

 9

 Connor Kennedy

 

10

 Connor Dimaio

 

10

 Lindon Meikle  

 

11

 Isaac Sinclair 

 Off 63

11

 Michael Richens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Substitutes

 

 

Substitutes

 

12

 Andrew Halls   

 On 63

12

 Joel Carta

 

14

 Joshua Askew

 

14

 Tre Mitford

On 84

15

 Luke Merrill       

 

15

 Mo Sebbeh 

 

16

 Ethan Beckford   

 On 84

16

 

 

17

 Lewis Doyle

 On 78

17

 

 

 

Referee: Michael Barlow   Assistants: Michael Coles and Jamie Waters 

Paul Cox player options were severely limited as a combination of suspensions and injuries gave him a choice of only 14 players, with some of those still feeling the effects of illness and knocks. Ben Milnes travelled but after aggravating his achilles injury on Saturday was rested. With a second away game in 48 hours against a well rested team, as they had no match on Saturday, stamina and fitness could be a factor in deciding the outcome of the game.

After passing a mid-afternoon inspection the pitch looked to be in very good condition. The evening was dry and windless but cold. Curzon in all blue kicked off and Mr Barlow was into action as early as the third minute when Kennedy and a Curzon player challenged for a ball in the air. Contact was minimal and any from Connor appeared to be with the opponent's chest, he however, fell to the floor hiding his face. This coupled with the reaction of the Curzon bench earned Connor an early yellow card. 

Five minutes later Richens gave away a free kick some 35 yards out. The kick was dealt with by Graham and Luke quickly turned defence into attack by feeding the ball to Stohrer. Gary carried the ball from just outside his penalty area to the same position at the other end however his through ball to O'Connor found Aaron in an offside position. 

Just before the quarter hour mark Kettering created their best chance of the match when Matt Taylor found himself open some twelve yards out after a ball though from Michael Richens. The defender put his shot too close to Mason for an easy stop with his feet. Five minutes later Kettering won a corner which was delivered deep. Mason punched the ball clear but it fell to Richens on the edge of the area. Michael twisted his body to get a shot in which went straight into the ground but it was on target and pushed around the post by the keeper for somehow a goal-kick. 

On twenty-five minutes Curzon made break down Kettering's left with Miller keeping a ball in play that looked to be going out and beating Meikle on the by-line before crossing the ball but Evans's effort was well wide. Ten minutes before half-time Kennedy delivered a long throw into Curzon's penalty area.  AO'C latched onto it and shot on the turn the ball deflected off a defender but Mason was equal to it and caught the ball. 

With five minutes left in the half the second flash point of the game occurred. The ball was played forward into Curzon's penalty area between two defenders who left the ball in order for it to roll through to the keeper. Stohrer darted between the pair to try and reach the ball. Ali reacted to the move and tried to close off the gap but merely succeeded in pushing into Gary's back propelling him into the onrushing keeper for a crunching collision. Ali's reaction was to climb over his keeper and place himself over Stohrer threatening the grounded player. A ruckus broke out with the Curzon player's main concern being confronting Kettering players than the welfare of their Keeper with being stepped over in order to continue the handbags. The net result was a booking for Stohrer with no action being taken over Ali's conduct. Nothing of note occurred in the remaining time and four added minutes.

Half Time: Curzon Ashton FC  0  Kettering Town  0

Kettering made the better start to the second half and were awarded an early free-kick some 25 yards out on  Curzon's left. Matt Taylor delivered a teasing lofted ball swinging into the far post. The ball evaded both attackers and defenders and Mason had to scramble across his goal to push the ball past the post to prevent it sneaking inside the post.  The resulting corner was unproductive. 

Curzon made their first change after 63 minutes with Andrew Halls replacing Sinclair. Two minutes later Nti conceded a free-kick inside his own half. The ball was swung into the area where it was met by Solkhon who opted for safety and headed it over his own crossbar for a corner which came to nothing. 

With under 20 minutes to go Kennedy tried a speculative long range effort. It struck a defender's arm but despite loud shouts from the Kettering players the referee considered any contact unintentional and waved away the appeals. Curzon made a second substitution with 12 minutes left with Evans making way for Lewis Doyle. With 10 minutes to go Kettering conceded a free-kick right in a dangerous position right on the edge of the penalty area. The opportunity was wasted though sailing high and wide. 

With six minutes to go Curzon swapped Miller for Beckford whilst Kettering withdrew the spent O'Connor being replaced by Tre Mitford.  The game seemed to heading to quiet end with the referee indicating an additional three minutes. A final long ball forward by Curzon was chased by Wroe. Stohrer came across to cover and reached the ball first and played the ball into touch. Gary swiftly got to his feet to face up to a quick throw when Rowe game him a full blooded body check square in his back with such force that Gary's head was snapped back as he was knocked to the ground. A Kettering player tried to hold Wroe from behind to try to calm him but was dissuaded from holding on as a flying elbow was thrust at him by Wroe. General pandemonium broke out which after appearing to have quietened down re-ignited for a second spell of pushing shoving and finger pointing. After a lengthy delay order was restored with two Curzon played receiving yellow cards along with John Ramshaw. The throw-in was finally taken and moments later the final whistle was blown before any other action could erupt.

Full Time: Curzon Ashton FC  0  Kettering Town  0

A tough match against a rested side who seemed more interested in kicking off than playing football but a tired and banged up Kettering produced a resilient display against a team desperate for points themselves. A point is a positive result for a team that appears to be moving in the right direction.

Curzon Ashton FC - yellow cards: Wroe, Bailie – unsporting conduct.                

Kettering Town - yellow cards:  Kennedy, Stohrer- foul,  Ramshaw – unsporting conduct.  

Attendance: 210 - (not announced on the night - but very poor approx 200 (good guess – Ed)

Kettering Town Man-of-the-Match – Aaron O'Connor – despite not scoring Aaron's dedication to the cause saw him run his heart out for the team just two days after a similar effort at Gloucester a game that by Paul Cox's admission that the 35 year old could have missed through illness. Aaron's renewed enthusiasm is mirrored in the rest of the squad with a growing team spirit and unity.