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Salford City v Curzon Ashton, Salford City, The Peninsula Stadium, Opposition Report Curzon Ashton

SALFORD CITY are back at The Peninsula Stadium on Good Friday for the visit of neighbours Curzon Ashton! Here we take a look at how the sides have got on previously, what to expect from Curzon, and how they have been getting on…

SEASON SUMMARY

After two seasons of consolidation in the Vanarama National League North following their promotion from the Northern Premier League in 2014-15, Curzon find themselves not too comfortably above the relegation zone. It’s not from want of trying, and The Nash are one of the better footballing sides in the division, but a heavy reliance on the goals of Niall Cummins has seen them take less points than their style deserves.

Even without the distractions of cup competitions, having been eliminated in their first stage of the FA Cup, FA Trophy and Manchester Premier Cup, John Flanagan’s side have struggled for consistency this season. They have only managed back-to-back wins on two occasions (Spennymoor and Boston in October, Telford and York in February).

Off the pitch the Tameside outfit were also rocked by the departure of CEO Natalie Atkinson. After 18 months at the club she decided to take up a similar position at Southport, however she left having made a massively positive impact in the community. Earlier in the season former Salford defender Steve Howson made the same move.

In a season with relatively little to shout about, the highlight so far is probably last month’s emphatic 4-1 win over York City, but a win against their rivals who also lead the league would quite easily find a place alongside that.

RECENT FORM

Three wins and a draw in their last six games is one of Curzon’s best runs of form of the season, and crucially two of those wins have come against relegation candidates Telford and Tamworth.

Just over a quarter of Curzon’s points have come away from The Tameside Stadium this season, and The Nash have lost their last two on the road at Southport and Darlington. They did however draw 3-3 at Boston and win 3-0 at Telford in the two prior to that in February.

DANGER MAN – Sam Walker

Sam Walker, Salford City, Curzon Ashton, Salford City v Curzon Ashton, Opposition Report Curzon Ashton
Former Curzon Ashton captain Sam Walker celebrates scoring the winner against his former side

Familiar and well known to Salford fans, Walker is on loan at Curzon from Stockport County. The central midfielder has scored twice since his return to Tameside, including the winner against Tamworth on Saturday (although he also missed a penalty).

An excellent set piece taker, vision and range of passing, and ability to read the game make him a very important cog in Curzon’s machine, and one of the keys to stopping The Nash will be to keep Walker quiet.

PREVIOUS MEETINGS

There have been plenty of meetings between the sides over the years with dominance of the fixture ebbing and flowing. When the sides were in the North West Counties League, Salford started off the dominant side, drawing two and winning six of the first eight meetings before Curzon clawed their way back into contention.

Then when the clubs were pit against each other in the NPL First Division North between 2009 and 2014, Curzon dominated and Salford didn’t manage a win 12 meetings.

However The Ammies halted that run when the sides were paired in the FA Cup Second Qualifying Round in 2015, with Danny Webber scoring twice as Salford came from behind to win 2-1. We would make it to the Second Round proper that season!

Jordan Hulme, Salford City, Curzon Ashton, Salford City v Curzon Ashton, Opposition Report Curzon Ashton
Hulme scored his third goal of last season at The Tameside Stadium

The next meeting came in the National League North era last season, when Salford did the double over Curzon. Jordan Hulme and Simon Grand scored in a 2-0 win at The Tameside Stadium, while Sam Walker scored late in a 1-0 win at Moor Lane which set Salford up on a run that would see us finish in the play-offs!

In the reverse fixture, we played out a 1-1 draw, Lois Maynard cancelling out Max Leonard’s opener.

Overall record: Played 64, Curzon 28, Salford 22, Draws 14.

FAMILIAR FACES

As previously mentioned, Sam Walker is now back at the club he captained to back-to-back promotions. He left Moor Lane in the summer for Stockport County having scored seven goals and assisted 13 in 38 appearances.

You can read more in an interview with Sam in Friday’s match day programme!

Another central midfielder to have represented both clubs is Luke Clark. With game time limited at the start of last season, the former Everton youngster made the move to Tameside although spent some time out with a leg injury.

Sam Madeley, Salford City, Salford City v Curzon Ashton
Madeley scored 21 goals in 46 appearances in 2014-15 as Salford won the NPL First Division North

Forward Sam Madeley played in nearly every game in the 2014-15 season as he finished second top scorer with 21 goals from 46 appearances, but ahead of the 2015-16 season opted to move to FC United of Manchester who had just been promoted into the National League North.

On Salford’s side, Nick Haughton had a spell at Curzon Ashton in 2013 after being released by Bolton Wanderers before moving onto Trafford then Runcorn Town, where he was picked up by Fleetwood Town.

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