Taking a look at Curzon Ashton v County


Saturday is likely to see Curzon Ashton at least double their previous best attendance of the season, which stands at 337, as County make their first visit for a competitive fixture. For the Hatters it's to be hoped that the 14 day break has given some of the injured men a chance to recover, although the suspensions will still be felt. For Curzon, it's a County reserve player of several seasons who will be plotting the visitor's downfall. Before continuing , here are the match arrangements recently announced by Curzon for County's visit to Tameside Stadium, which unfortunately will see the crowd segregation .

Turnstiles B and C for visiting fans. Turnstile B is at the far end of the car park on the right as you approach the stadium. Turnstile C is at the far end of the stadium accessed by walking past the main stand and the 3G pitch. There are 250 seats available to visiting fans and those wishing a seat should use turnstile C for convenience. Wheelchair access is via the main gate at turnstile A where you will be escorted to the appropriate location. Unfortunately the main bar is unavailable for this game due to a prior booking so there will be no bar facilities for visiting fans. Refreshments (food and drinks) will be available from a mobile unit located near turnstile C. Toilet facilities for visiting fans are located under the main stand facing turnstile C. Additional portable units will be located in the ground.


Floodlight opening
This will be the first competitive visit for County's first team but there have been a couple of away games against Curzon Ashton in the past - both to their previous Katherine Street ground. At the end of the 1977-78 season County took a team for a match to celebrate the opening of the Ashton's side's new floodlights. This is one of those frustrating games for a historian where despite looking through various newspaper I've yet to track down the result. The only goalscorer being noted was Bobby Charlton, for Curzon, the England player who had previously guested for County in Friendly games over the previous two seasons.

The other trip came during the run-up to the 1985-86 season. A strong County side played out a 0-0 draw on the first day of August. The side included a few trialists in Dean Croft (ex-Barnsley), Andy Reynolds (ex-Manchester United) and Russell. This was a game I remember attending and it wasn't the most inspiring of games - even by pre-season friendly standards. The Hatters line-up that evening was Mick Salmon, John Rutter (Les Chapman), Steve Sherlock, Andy Thorpe, Nigel Smith, Paul Hendrie, Clive Evans, Mark Wroe (Tony Coyle), Mark Leonard, Dean Croft (Russell) and Andy Reynolds (Tommy Sword)

A few other friendlies have been played since then but they were designated as reserve team matches by County.


Curzon are on a good run of form which has seen them climb away from the relegation spaces. With just one defeat in their last six National League North games sees them level with County over that period in the form table, but they have scored more regularly than the Hatters. The last two matches saw Nash end Tamworth's unbeaten run, and whilst County were inactive last Saturday, they inflicted a 4-1 drubbing on Lowestoft.


Flanagan then ...
75-76 team photo
I mentioned above the ex-County reserve who is in charge at the Tameside Stadium. John Flanagan, has been involved almost constantly in non-league football around the Manchester and Cheshire since the mid 70's when he first appeared on a County team photo. His first team games were restricted to Friendly matches, although e did play alongside Bobby Charlton in one of those matches mentioned above. Widely regarded as Curzon's most successful manager ever as they reach their highest level in football's pyramid for this season.

Flanagan now ... Curzon manager
On the playing side former County loanee Tom Eckersley has turned out for Curzon this season, but his involvement has been limited with just 1 start. The defender or midfield man came to County on loan from Accrington Stanley in October 2012. He made just two substitute appearance in the Conference National,  when he came on during a 2-1 win at Hereford and a 3-3 draw at Lincoln. A broken leg after joining Curzon last season restricted his appearances for the Ashton side.


The majority of the Nash squad have not faced County previously. Eckersley did play against us in an FA Cup tie on loan at Rushall. Flynn was in the Barrow side, whilst also previously being on a team sheet against the Hatters were Alex Brown (Hyde), Brown (Northwich) and Tomsett (Fylde). Hakan Burton has been getting good reviews for his performances in goal this season, even when the side was struggling early on. Up front they have scored five goals more than County with Matt Warburton leading their list with four goals. Niall Cummins has scored in both their last two matches.

NamePosKnown Past Clubs (may not be complete)
Ben Atkinson M Huddersfield T
Ryan Brooke F Oldham Ath, Barrow(L), AFC Telford U(L), Altrincham, COUNTY(T)
Alex Brown M Crewe Alex, Leek T, Witton A, Droylsden, Chester, Hyde
Gary Burnett F Wigan Ath, Local football, Atherton Coll, Skelmersdale U, Northwich Vic
Hakan Burton G Shrewsbury T, Liverpool, Gaziantepspor [tur], Clitheroe
Remero Coley  F Manchester C
Niall Cummins F AFC Blackpool, Burscough
Tom Eckersley D Bolton W, Accrington S, COUNTY(L), Barrow(L), Tamworth, Rushall Oly(L), AFC Fylde, Witton A(DR), Curzon Ashton(DR)
Matt Flynn F/CD Warrington T, Macclesfield T, Ashton U(L), Rochdale(L), Rochdale, Fleetwood T, Altrincham(L), F Barrow, Southport.Hyde, Chorley
Alex Frost D Rochdale, Altrincham(L), Rossendale U(L), Team Bath(L), Cirencester T(L), Ashton U, Nantwich T, Ramsbottom U
Joe Guest M Crewe Alex, Northwich Vic, Congleton T(L), Nantwich T, Stafford R, Wqarrington T
Yew Gyimah M
Connor Hampson LB -
Jonathan Hunt CD Salford C
Simon Lakeland M Carlisle U,  Accrington S,  Bamber Bridge
Cameron Mason G Chesterfield,  Southport(L), Long Eaton U(L)
Shelton Payne W Trafford, Chorley, Hyde, FC Halifax T, Stocksbridge PS, Colwyn Bay, Trafford, FCUM, Salford C.Ramsbottom U
Christopher Rowney M Oldham Ath, Mossley, Woodley Sp, Mossley
Danny Shaw D Radcliffe Bor, New Mills
Charmey Thibaut
Liam Tomsett M Blackpool, Altrincham(L), Ayr U(), Hyde(L), Hyde(L), AFC Fylde
Matthew Warburton F Nelson, Maine Road
Andy Watson CD Salford C, Winsford U, Woodley Sp, Abbey Hey, Rossendale U, Curzon Ashton, Mossley
Ryan Watson M Farsley
Simon Woodford CD/RB Trafford,  Radcliffe Bor
Jordan Wright M -


George West (pic Sue Cordon)
Another solid performance for the reserves on Tuesday when they hosted Witton Albion at Atherton Collieries ground. An early goal from Walters set them on their way before top scorer West clinched the victory after 74 minutes. The team that beat Witton was Steve Dryden, Connor Hancock (Akkeal Chambers)(, Jordyn Fitton, Jordan Arklie-Young (Will Hartley), Eddie Fulwood, Nick Giannotta (Ashley Knowles) , Jon Hurst (Sam Etches), Jack Hindle, Jordache Walters, George West and George Blackwell (Jordan Rogers). The result leaves County lying fourth a few points off the top in the Lancashire League. The third placed Academy Floodlit League side continued their 100% record  with a 3-1 win  in a top-of the-table clash last night against Chorley at Myerscough College.

Ian Watts


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