AFC Fylde suffered a setback in their title charge with a disappointing 3-2 away defeat to struggling Curzon Ashton.

The Coasters looked set for a comfortable afternoon when Brendon Daniels opened the scoring with a wonderful strike, however two quick-fire goals before the break put Curzon in control.

Danny Rowe levelled the scores in spectacular fashion but a defensive error allowed Ryan Hall to seal in and secure all three points for the hosts.

Manager Dave Challinor made just one change to the side that saw off FC United of Manchester a fortnight ago with James Hardy coming into the starting XI in place of Bohan Dixon.

Curzon debutant Matthew Warburton set the tone for the match with a full bloodied challenge on Dan Bradley inside the first minute and received a booking for his troubles.

Bradley himself saw the first sight of goal when he cut inside from the left and fizzed a wicked strike at goal that was palmed away by goalkeeper Hakan Burton.

The stopper went from hero to zero seconds later with a moment of madness when he bizarrely chipped up a pass back and punched clear and the referee was quick to award an indirect freekick. However Danny Rowe couldn’t capitalise and fired a powerful strike into the unfortunate defending wall.  

The deadlock was soon broken though and it was a goal of real quality from the visitors. Some intricate passing around the Curzon area culminated in Hardy backheeling the ball through to Daniels who took a touch and curled a delightful right footed effort into the far corner of the goal.

The hosts had to wait until the 20th minute for their first real shot on goal – Connor Hampson’s dipping effort narrowly over the crossbar.

The Coasters were awarded a dangerous set-piece on the edge of the Curzon box after Daniels was felled, but Rowe whipped his attempt high and wide.

Cummins was presented with a glorious chance to level the scores shortly before the half hour but his free header from a corner was glanced over Rhys Taylor’s bar.

There was a contentious moment when Macauley Wilson went down under a challenge from Joe Guest but the referee decided that the Blackpool loanee had gone down too easily and produced a yellow card for the right-back.

Curzon found an equaliser against the run of play in the 38th minute. A slide rule pass inside Wilson found Guest and he put the ball on plate for the lurking Cummins to roll home from inside the six yard box.

A shock turnaround was complete less than 90 seconds later. Cummins flicked a long kick onto on Warburton who beat Tom Kennedy for pace before coolly slotting the ball past the onrushing Taylor.

Cummins could have extended the lead further still shortly before the break but slashed a strike over when well placed.

Challinor swapped it around at the break with Richie Baker coming on for Josh Langley whilst reverting to three at the back with two wingbacks.

The second half kicked off in scrappy fashion with both Daniels and Connor Hampson booked for mistimed tackles. Full-back James Baillie launched one from 25 yards that flew over the top but chances were few and far between.

A quick counter attack then saw Baillie race clear down the right and square for Chris Rowney who side-footed narrowly wide of the far post. The hosts were certainly enjoying the better of the opportunities and Warburton should have done better with a free header at the back-post.

Caspar Hughes harmlessly headed into the arms of Burton with 25 minutes to play as the Coasters tried to pull themselves back into the game and then, from nowhere, Challinor’s side were back on level terms. Rowe picked up the ball on left, took a touch and rifled a thunderous shot in off the crossbar from 25 yards.

However with 10 minutes to play, a mix up at the back put the home side back into the lead. Dom Collins’ pass back to Taylor was short and the lively Hall nipped in and poked the ball past the helpless goalkeeper.

Bradley hit an ambitious strike from distance that cleared the cross bar as the clock ticked down. Rowe went on the hunt for his second of the afternoon when he twisted and turned on the edge of the Curzon area before drilling a low strike into the keeper’s arms.


Curzon Ashton: Burton, Baillie, Guest, Hunt, Shaw, Stott, Hall, Hampson, Cummins, Warburton (Howard 71), Rowney (Wright 88).

Subs not used: Ennis, Mason, Tomsett

AFC Fylde: Taylor, Wilson, Langley (Baker 46), Collins, Kennedy, Bond, C. Hughes, Hardy, Bradley, Daniels (M. Hughes 77), Rowe.

Subs not used: Thompson, Dixon, Williams.

Ref: Aaron Jackson

Att: 341