Despite some good pressure and a host of great chances, the Reds couldn’t find a way through a resilient Curzon defence and had to settle for a goalless draw, which is the fifth time the two teams have drawn in the last six meetings.
Games between the two have historically been good match ups. However, on this occasion the first half was anything but that with the action on the pitch and the noise level off it both feeling rather flat. It was strange given the encounters we’ve been treated to previously.
A good signal of how the first half went is that the club’s official twitter account tweeted: “Ref’s on the floor. Big cheer.” Without meaning to be unkind, it was probably the highlight in what was most definitely an opening 45 minutes to forget.
But as the old cliché goes it’s a game of two halves and this game’s second half was a polar opposite to what had happened in the previous 45 minutes. With the scores level and the FC United attacking a packed St Mary’s Road End, you would back the men in red to produce the goods. They began the second half with a much better tempo.
Within minutes, Dale Johnson had gone close as a ball from the right was headed towards goal and just tipped over by Hakan Burton; who had a great evening.
The early chance fired up the players and the crowd. There was a real sense that it was more a matter of when and not if FC United would break the deadlock. Waves of attacks came forward, with what seemed to be corner after corner being awarded. The visiting defence was holding firm, swatting away attacks in a non-stylistic but efficient manner.
The best chance of the early period fell to Chris Chantler, who will still be wondering how he didn’t find the net. Breaking into the box his low effort was pushed out by Burton, the ball then hit Chantler, headed back towards goal but struck the post and somehow ended up in Burton’s arms.
As the pressure built the visiting team looked like they would be stretched open. The Nash gave away a couple of cynical looking free-kicks as FC United came forward, looking more and more dangerous. The free-kicks didn’t bring anything though, as one was deflected wide by the wall before George Thomson saw a low drive just go wide of Burton’s near post.
With time running out, on came the experienced players from the bench in the way of Tom Greaves and Matthew Wolfenden, but by this point it was looking like the frustration would go on all evening.
The game went into five minutes of stoppage time and there was still enough time for another great opportunity. A corner saw a scramble in the box, before an effort was turned towards goal but the shot was stopped by Burton with a great reaction save. The goalkeeper was the main reason the visitors took a point away from the game.
For the Reds it was to be another frustrating evening as the second half performance definitely deserved a goal. But performances don’t put the points on the board and, not for the first time this season, we come away from a game where we should have had three points with only the one.
The draw does mean that FC United are now unbeaten in three games following back-to-back losses and we now look to take that form into our FA Cup tie with Harrogate Town on Saturday, a team that beat us 3-1 at their ground just over three weeks ago.
Website man of the match: Dale Johnson – Had a couple of great opportunities and looked the most likely to break the deadlock. A special mention for Curzon’s captain and goalkeeper Hakan Burton, who almost single handily ensured the visitors came away from Broadhurst Park with a point.
Report by Craig Phillips