Curzon Ashton 1 Darlington 0.

It was a sad familiar story of missed chances for Quakers when they were beaten at the Tameside Stadium.

This was a repeat of the away draw at North Ferriby earlier in the season, when they had so many chances, that they should have had the points wrapped up by half time.

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On that occasion, Ferriby punished Quakers and snatched a point they didn’t really deserve, on this occasion, Curzon sub Tyrrell MacKenzie scored a delightful winner that stunned Quakers – no wonder everyone was speechless afterwards.

Manager Martin Gray wouldn’t speak to the media afterwards because he was so upset and you could understand why, considering the quality of the chances that went begging.

The chances came and went with painful regularity. On 9 minutes right back Liam Marrs crossed neatly to the far post, where Mark Beck headed wide of the left hand upright from six yards out.

On 25 minutes, Adam Dawson found David Ferguson on the left, and he crossed for Stephen Thompson to head wide from six yards.

Quakers completely dominated the play, with Curzon unable to get the ball out of their own half at times but even though their approach play was measured and assured, they lost their composure in and around the penalty area.

And that was demonstrated when Thompson pounced on a poor clearance, charged into the box, and with a goal looking inevitable, he blazed the ball over the top.

But Curzon’s Richard Baker was just as embarrassed a few minutes later in a rare Curzon attack when he skied a Joe Guest pull back over the top.

The pattern was the same in the second half. Thompson had a shot blocked, and Ferguson again crossed from the left for Beck to head wide.

Sub Nathan Cartman, on for Thompson, had a goal disallowed when he finished off a Joe Wheatley through ball, the ref deciding that he’d tripped Danny Shaw when he was running through, although there didn’t seem to be much contact.

There was more frustration on 80 minutes when Wheatley, easily Quakers’ best player, played a great reverse pass for Ferguson to pull wide from ten yards.

So, it was perhaps inevitable after all that good play and missed chances, that Curzon would break away and snatch a winner. Quakers seemed to have got away with it when Baker missed two good chances, but with two minutes left, sub McKenzie, out on the right, looked up and curled a left foot shot over Bartlett into the net.

Curzon Ashton 1 Darlington 0.

Goal: McKenzie 88.

Bartlett, Marrs, Collins, Galbraith, Ferguson, Turnbull, Gillies (sub Saunders 75), Wheatley, Dawson (sub Portas 57), Beck, Thompson (sub Cartman 59).

Subs: Wilczynski, Scott.

Booking: Turnbull.

Curzon: Mason, Baillie, Guest, Rowney, Howson, Shaw, Leonard, Marshall (sub Clark 79) Wharton, Baker, Bianga (Sub McKenzie 58).

Subs: Crothers, Butterworth, Shenton.

Referee: A Jackson.

Attendance 292.