Harriers 2 Curzon Ashton 0 FA Cup 2nd rd
away fans: 277
Harriers cruise into next round
The Harriers cruised into the third round of the FA Cup today but they made hard work of it. At times it looked like they were taking cruise too literally and rarely got into second gear.
Curzon were a handy little side and worked hard in defence but their attack was in-effective throughout although that could have been down to the early dismissal of their goalkeeper, Dave Carnell, in the thirtieth minute of the game when he bought down Stefan Moore outside of his area. There was no real danger of Moore getting into a shooting position with the ball running away from him but it was a blatant foul and Carnell had to walk.
Curzon were forced to sacrifice the newspaper friendly James Ogoo for the spare keeper, Barlow, and go to a more defensive formation in an effort to take us back to Manchester for a replay. To their credit once they went a goal down they did change to a more attack minded side and, if it wasn't for their poor forwards could have been in with a chance.
Moore, as a kind of pay back got the all important first goal for us a few minutes after the offence when a cross from Keith Lowe landed in the area and Moore stabbed the ball home from close range. A messy goal but it went in and so counts.
Both sides had started the game at a fast pace and although somewhat messy at times it at least made for some fast and furious football. Martin Riley had the first real chance of scoring when he hit the outside of the post in the third minute.
A minute later Moore had got the ball into the Curzon goal but it been had flagged for the former Villa man being slightly offside. Curzon responded straight after when Daniel Whelan broke through, or rather our defence parted, to shoot straight at the Harriers keeper Adam Bartlett. He broke through on more than one occasion after that and the danger was never really dealt with for the remainder of the half.
Ten minutes later came the sending off and then the goal soon after that incident but as a spectacle the remainder of the half deteriorated into lethargy.
HT: 1 - 0
Following a very cold half time break the fog started to descend over Aggborough. Not too badly but worrying enough. We'd soon be warmed up though because the Harriers were kicking towards our end.
The warming was to come from an unlikely source when Lee Baker made his way at speed into the area twice to send in shots but sadly they were too weak to trouble the substitute keeper. The Harriers had at last upped the pace and we could now look forward to a bucketful of goals but it didn't last very long and once again both sides got bogged down in a midfield mess.
Very little action from both sides ensued and thoughts were starting to turn to a possible comeback goal for Curzon and when was Mark Yates going to make a substitution. Thankfully our fears were soon ended when the second goal arrived in the sixty fifth minute.
We were awarded a corner over on the East Stand side. Martin Brittain took it with his usual accurate delivery right onto the head of the waiting Mark Creighton for a completely free header into the back of the net.
The Curzon fans, who had arrived in numbers and had been in good voice for most of the game decided to party and just enjoy their day out. It was probably too much drink that made some deluded fan run onto the pitch in the all together on such a cold and gloomy day. After a few minutes he ambled back to the South Bank, jumped over the barrier and went to get dressed.
A flurry of substitutions followed for both sides with David McDermott and Darryl Knights coming on for us in place of Brian Smikle and Martin Brittain. The tempo of the game moved up again and shots from McDermott, Barnes-Homer and Knights threatened to add to the scoreline but either the post or weak shots prevented that happening.
The game fizzled out towards the ninetieth minute and an easyish passage into the next round of the Cup with another chance to draw a big club away from home or to land a home game against a lesser side and a chance to progress into the fourth round.