REPORT: CURZON ASHTON 1-4 AFC FYLDE. TUE 15TH DECEMBER 2020
A Junior Mondal brace put The Coasters on their way, before two late goals from Jack Sanders and Kurt Willoughby secured progression into the FA Trophy Third Round at Curzon Ashton on Tuesday evening.
The Coasters returned to the Tameside Stadium four weeks after their 2-0 defeat in the National League North, this time with the hope of progressing into the FA Trophy Third Round.
Nick Chadwick made multiple changes to the side that lined up against Hereford on Saturday, most notably handing 17-year-old goalkeeper, Aaron Lancaster, his professional debut after Chris Neal suffered a training ground injury on Monday
Reagan Ogle, Jack Sanders, Jordan Lussey, Luke Brennan, Junior Mondal and Jack Sampson also came into the starting line-up.
It took just 7 minutes for The Coasters to take the lead, and it came through a Junior Mondal strike. Reagan Ogle launched a long throw into Jack Sampson, who expertly knocked the ball into Mondal’s path, and the winger did the rest, volleying past a helpless Cameron Mason.
The game sprung into life following Mondal’s opener, with Kurt Willoughby almost sneaking in behind The Nash’s defence on numerous occasions, while Curzon Ashton sat back and looked to pounce on the counter.
On 27 minutes, young Aaron Lancaster was called into action, coming out to punch the ball to safety and clattering into Dominic Knowles in the process. The youngster was down receiving treatment for a minute – to the worry of Nick Chadwick in the dugout who had no goalkeeper on the bench – but was eventually ok to continue.
Curzon Ashton winger, Darren Stephenson, almost brought the home side level on the half-hour mark, seeing a low driven effort ping off the post following Jack Sanders’ mistimed clearance.
Willoughby was next to try his luck, as he saw his 44th minute strike well saved by Mason in the Curzon Ashton goal.
The Nash’s persistence paid off on the stroke of half-time, when former Coasters man, Stephenson, levelled the tie.
Dominic Knowles’ effort was blocked well by Sanders, but the ball bounced kindly to the feet of Stephenson who made no mistake from 8-yards out, drilling the ball under the legs of Lancaster.
HALF TIME: Curzon Ashton 1-1 AFC Fylde
Neither team were able to carve out any clear-cut opportunities inside the opening 25 minutes of the second half, until Junior Mondal, as he did in the first half, produced a moment of magic to put his team back into the driver’s seat.
The young winger picked the ball up in the centre of the pitch, composed himself and tried his luck from 25-yards out, striking an effort that was too hot to handle for Mason. To the delight of Mondal, the ball found the back of the net and The Coasters had their noses in front once again.
From here, the visitors found a new gear and soon it was 3-1. With 10 minutes remaining, Jack Sanders opened his account for AFC Fylde, peeling round the back post unmarked to nod home a corner-kick that evaded the Curzon Ashton goalkeeper.
Willoughby piled more misery on Curzon Ashton in the 86th minute, when his trickery drew a foul in the penalty area leaving the referee with no choice but to point to the spot. The striker picked himself up, dusted himself down and sent the keeper the wrong way from the resulting penalty-kick.
The full-time whistle blew to complete a fantastic all-round performance, with Nick Chadwick’s pre-match request of a reaction to Saturday’s defeat being duly delivered.
AFC Fylde will now head to Boston United on Saturday in the Third Round of the FA Trophy.
FULL TIME: Curzon Ashton 1-4 AFC Fylde