Bradford (Park Avenue) came into today’s game having ended a poor run last week against Chester, and despite a good start to 2019, Curzon Ashton have gone off the boil in recent weeks, namely a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Altrincham.
The game started in quite subdued fashion, the first chance coming when Jake Beesley controlled Lewis Knight’s throw-in but could not get the ball out of his feet as the visitors cleared.
Jamie Spencer then tried his luck. Bradford broke quickly with Alex Hurst and Knight combining with the latter laying off for Bradford’s number eleven, before he shot way over the crossbar from 25 yards out.
Despite some back and forth no real chances were created as both sides began to slightly cancel each other out, with neither goalkeeper being tested for a period.
However that soon changed with Mark Ross, he made a run down the right and crossed in, finding Beesley but his header was cushioned safely into the arms of Curzon goalkeeper Cameron Mason.
The Salford loanee was at the centre of everything, a cute effort after Luca Havern’s delightful ball was the closest either side got in the first half hour.
That was until Bradford received a penalty, a Curzon man was penalised for holding and Beesley slotted home the penalty with consummate ease to put Mark Bower’s side ahead.
One almosty became two shortly after, but for a correct intervention from the linesman on the near side. A lovely passage of play led to Macaulay Langstaff curling one in the top corner but it was given as offside.
Then, with two minutes left in the half, Ryan Brooke equalised for Curzon with a powerful header from a corner which was put into a dangerous area.
The second-half started in relatively quiet fashion as neither side wanted to give too much away in the opening minutes of the second-half.
Beesley went close again, good work down the left led to Hurst smashing in to the box but our number nine couldn’t turn it in from close range as Bradford searched for a go-ahead goal.
It was the visitors who forced themselves in front, though. Another corner, similarly to their first goal, was swung in and Cameron McJannet met it to put the visitors ahead for the first time.
However that lead was short-lived. Minutes later Beesley got on the scoresheet once more, good work from Langstaff and Knight led to the ball being put across the box and bundled in by Beesley for 2-2.
Bradford them seized the initiative once more with Luca Havern heading narrowly over the bar from a corner as Bower’s men searched for all of the points.
Oliver Crankshaw continued to test Avenue’s back line and might have had the winner had his accuracy been a little better. He dragged his shot wide of the far post after some good initial work.
Then, with minutes to go, Langstaff and captain, Shane Killock went close respectively. The latter’s effort signalled the end of the attack as the game hung in the balance.
There was still time for one more piece of drama, though. Langstaff, as in the first-half was denied by the linesman’s flag after another neat finish from the on-loan York City frontman.
Andrew, Ross, Clee, Hurst, Killock, Havern, Knight, Branson (East 73′), Beesley, Langstaff, Spencer.
Mason, Senior, McJannet, Hunt, Thornley, Rowney, Crankshaw, Brooke, Reilly (McAtee (81′), Miller, Wall