July 13, 2014 by backofthenetjl
Curzon began preparations for the new season with a home fixture against League One side Oldham Athletic; repeating the fixture which took place at the start of their title-winning campaign. With the sun glaring down on the Tameside Stadium and the pitch in impeccable condition; supporters were anticipating a real treat. The first meaningful attack of the match was provided by the visitors, with Liam Kelly whipping in a cross from the right, which Clarke-Harris met tamely. Shortly after, one of the away side’s `trialists found space on the left and hit a cross into the box, but Clarke-Harris couldn’t stab home. Clarke-Harris was becoming quite heavily involved in the opening stages, this time, diverting a cross from Brian Wilson over the cross-bar.
Latics winger James Dayton had looked lively in the early moments, twice going down under the challenge of a Curzon player, yet the referee waved away both protests, in fact for the second one, the official gave a free-kick in Curzon’s favour. Oldham continued to dominate the ball and it was not long before they opened the scoring. In the 17th minute full-back Joseph Mills delivered a teasing cross, and Clarke-Harris emerged free in the box to nod the ball past the helpless Green. Soon after, former Peterborough striker Clarke-Harris was at it again; making a clever run to get on the end of the aforementioned trialist’s cross and following it up with a great instinctive finish.
Whilst the football on display was a pleasure to see, an injury suffered by Connor Hampson was certainly not. The left-back appeared to go over on his ankle terribly leading to an utterly horrific sight and a large pause in play, whilst he received treatment. During this stoppage, a photographer of some sort showed a great interest in capturing the injury on camera, much to the dismay of the supporters and both sets of players. After much discussion, the referee opted to continue with the game.
There was a brief drop in performance for a spell, which was quite understandable as the players tried to recover from the gruesome image they had just seen. But it was Oldham who recovered quickest, with the impressive trialist bagging a third for the League One outfit; meeting Mills’ corner with aplomb.
HT Curzon 0-3 Oldham Athletic.
After the restart, Oldham continued their goalscoring exploits, Genseric Kusunga made an instant impact by getting himself on the score-sheet. In all fairness, the gulf in class between the two sides was quite evident as Winchester added a fifth for the rampant Latics. With wholesale changes made at the break by both sides; Oldham came out on top and threatened on a number of occasions; often penning Curzon into their own box. Visiting substitute pressed well in the Curzon half and stole possession, but his finish was wayward and failed to trouble Matt Green.
There may been an element of luck in his first goal, but that clearly wasn’t the case for Carl Winchester’s second. The Irishman found space on the right and unleashed an unstoppable shot which flew into the top corner, bringing fans to their feet. A truly sublime goal. Curzon were largely restricted in the game, and when they got a chance themselves, they couldn’t conjure up a goal. Jonathan Hunt went close with a header, in what was a rare chance for the hosts. Great link-up down the left involving Mellor and a Trialist led to a cross into the box, which was headed powerfully by Willy Gross, but unfortunately for him, the effort was marginally off- target.
Curzon were still seemingly feeling the effects of Hampson’s early injury and were thoroughly outplayed. However Oldham didn’t look like rolling over at any point and sought after more goals. An incisive pass from Winchester fed Rhys Turner, who finished neatly to add yet another goal for the visitors. Immediately after, Turner helped himself to another goal; capping off an impressive cameo. Oldham striker Gross almost grabbed a ninth goal and would have done, but for a great piece of goalkeeping from Curzon’s substitute keeper. As the game came to a close, Winchester attempted to repeat his brilliant solo effort, however this time his effort flew over the bar. At last, Curzon grabbed a consolation late on through Jimmy McCartney, who took his goal well.
All in all, Oldham performed admirably and played some wonderful football. As for Curzon, it was a great work-out against a side of a much higher standard. Unfortunately, the game was overshadowed by a horror injury to Connor Hampson; so we wish him a speedy recovery.
FT Curzon Ashton 1-8 Oldham Athletic.
Curzon: Green, Woodford, Hampson Hunt, A Watson, Rowney, Wright, Walker, Cummins, Warburton, Brooke.
Subs: Coley, McCartney, O’Connor, R Watson, Kay, Schofield, Jackson, Mack.
Oldham: Rachubka, Lockwood, J Wilson, Mills, Kelly, B Wilson, Jones, Dayton, Trialist, Jonson Clarke-Harris, Trialist.
Subs: Bove, Coleman, Kusunga, LIera, Turner, Gross, Trialist, Winchester, Rodgers, Brown, Trialist, Mellor.
By Josh Lawless