Vanarama National League North
Blackwell Meadows / 4th Aug 2018 / 3:00pm
Darlington 1 Curzon Ashton 2.
Goals: Ainge (13 mins, 1-0), Fawns (25 mins, 1-1), Hughes (52 mins, 1-2)
Quakers lost their first game of the season despite taking an early lead.
Quakers, who were attacking the Tin Shed, gained a corner after just 14 seconds on the left hand side, but it was cleared at the near post.
They had most of the pressure after that with Jordan Nicholson and Tom Elliott showing some good touches.
There was some good combination play between Styche and Ainge to set up Nicholson who had run in behind them, and he forced a corner with a left foot shot.
Quakers took the lead on 13 minutes when Joe Wheatley curled the corner over from the left for Ainge to rise high at the far post, and find the net with a looping header.
Quakers had another chance when Styche nodded down a left wing cross for Wheatley to hit a right foot shot under pressure that went wide.
Styche then tried an ambitious 40 yarder, when he spotted the keeper off his line and fired the ball over him, but the ball dropped just over the crossbar.
Quakers posed danger from another corner, driven over from the right by Wheatley for Galbraith to have a header blocked, and then from the next corner driven over from the left, Galbraith headed wide of the post.
Curzon levelled after 25 minutes from their first corner. They played it short for Mason Fawns to chip towards the back post where it dropped in with Maddison under pressure from several players.
Curzon nearly took the lead on 28 minutes. This time, Maddison pulled off a great reaction save to stop Fawns’ shot, and Daniel Shaw fired the rebound into the side netting.
The goal knocked Quakers’ out of their stride, but they nearly took the lead again from another corner by Wheatley from the right that Ainge, at the back post, headed into the keeper’s hands.
Curzon took the lead on 52 minutes, when a ball was curled over from the left for Connor Hughes to come running in and head past Maddison.
Quakers nearly levelled straight away when Styche played a lovely reverse pass through for Elliott to run through and hit the face of the bar with a right foot shot.
But Quakers nearly conceded another. Fawns chipped the ball into the box where Hunt headed goalwards, but Maddison pulled off an excellent one-handed save down to his left to push the ball away.
Trotman then made a great run down the right, beating two men and firing into the keeper’s hands from a very tight angle.
Quakers were reduced to ten men on 84 minutes when Hughes dribbled through and his shot was blocked by O’Hanlon, who was sent off for deliberate handball.
Hughes took the penalty, but Maddison saved the spot kick low down to his right.
Elliott then hit the woodwork again, with a curling effort from 25 yards out on the right.
Maddison, Trotman, Collins, Galbraith, O’Hanlon; Elliott, Hughes (sub Saunders 80), Nicholson (sub Henshall 63), Wheatley; Styche, Ainge.
Subs: Syers, Bancroft, Vaulks,
Mason, Morton, McJannet, Hunt, Shaw, Rowney, Guest, Mason, Sharpe, Fawns, Hughes
Subs; Brooke, Baillie, Ali, Crankshaw, McKenzie
Referee: Mr A Kitchen