Curzon Ashton 2 AFC Fylde 1: Leaders beaten at Tameside for second successive season
Curzon Ashton claimed all three points against Fylde at the Tameside Stadium for the second season running in National League North.
Matty Waters put the hosts ahead after just three minutes when his right-footed cross caught Chris Neal out at the near post and found its way into the net.
Nick Haughton equalised for the Coasters moments after the interval. after he picked himself to rifle a free-kick off the bar and in.
But a Curzon side playing their first game in two weeks after Covid in the camp scored the winner when a corner from the right found Dale Whitham inside the six-yard box and he headed past Neal.
Jim Bentley made three changes to the Fylde side that beat Gateshead seven days earlier, with Emeka Obi recalled at centre-back and Jordan Hulme up front, with Danny Philliskirk back after suspension. They replaced captain Alex Whitmore, Jack Sampson (both injured in the previous game) and David Perkins.
The hosts got off to a flyer when Waters' cross somehow caught Chris Neal out at his near post to put the Nash ahead early on.
Despite the early setback, the Coasters went in search of an equaliser. Haughton won the ball back in the middle third and slid Joe Piggott in behind the Curzon defence, but a superb recovery tackle from Harry Flowers directed his strike away from goal.
Bentley’s side were soon in control of the game despite being behind, and that led to Jordan Hulme being fouled on the edge of the area. Haughton fancied his chances from the set-piece but saw his effort deflect off the wall and away.
Piggott and Hulme went close just seconds before the break. First, Piggott worked some space for himself 20 yards from goal to shoot, though saw the attempt take a nick off a blue shirt and go behind for a corner.
That corner eventually found its way to Hulme, who controlled, swivelled and fired into Chris Renshaw’s gloves as the half ended at 1-0.
Straight from the restart, the Coasters drew level. Haughton was brought down by Marcus Poshca on the edge of the box as he ran through several blue shirts.
The midfielder then picked himself up off the deck and arrowed the free-kick off the bar and into the net.
Curzon, however, weren’t for lying down, and when the ball found its way to substitute Dale Whitham at the back post, he headed just over from close range.
Whitham made no mistake with the second chance that came his way in the 70th minute as a corner found him inside the six-yard box and his header crept under Neal's body and inches over the line.
Straight down the other end, Philliskirk found himself in acres of space to thunder a shot goalwards but the ball whistled over the bar.
A last-minute opportunity came Fylde's way when Haughton was brought down again on the edge of the area.
He curled the free-kick towards the top corner but Renshaw did enough to palm the effort away from goal.
It meant a winning start to his Curzon reign for manager Adam Lakeland, who had also overseen Fylde's other league defeat this season as Farsley Celtic boss a fortnight ago.
Fylde's lead at the top has been cut to three points, though second-placed Brackley Town were held to a goalless draw at Farsley.
Brackley, who have two games in hand, are Saturday's visitors to Fylde but first face Spennymoor Town on Tuesday.
Curzon Ashton: Renshaw, Challoner, Waters, Poscha, Flowers, Dunn (Whitham 58), Thomas (Dyche 80), Curran (Hobson 58), McKay, Lussey, Mahon; Sub not used: Daly.
Fylde: Neal, Lloyd, Obi, Stott, Conlan, Philliskirk, Joyce (Dobbie 72), Tollitt (Tollitt 65), Haughton, Hulme, Piggott; Subs not used: Jones, Osborne, Perkins.
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