Curzon Ashton 1 - 2 Colwyn Bay

One thing you never expect as a spectator at a play-off is to see a good game. There's so much riding on the outcome, especially in one legged ties, that extreme caution tends to outweigh any notion of entertainment the teams involved may have.

Not on this occasion though as the meeting between Curzon Ashton and Colwyn Bay failed to live up to even the low expectations I had. It wasn't good - it really wasn't. I appreciate that the supporters of the two clubs involved will think differently but from a neutrals perspective it was a supreme test of patience.

As a Mossley fan I'm familiar with the clinical, and rather excellent, way Colwyn Bay have taken us apart over the past few seasons so the long ball tactics they employed in this game were quite a shock. Though not quite as big a shock as the fact they persisted with this tactic despite them getting no joy from it whatsoever. They posed so little threat that when Curzon took the lead just before the interval through Michael Norton it looked like game over already.

It was a view that didn't change until Bay made a double substitution midway through the second period and finally they began to play a bit of football. Within moments of doing so they were awarded a spot-kick when Phil Edgehill blocked the path of the ball with a raised arm (though naturally, like our penalty at the Tameside Stadium on Easter Monday, the Curzon website doesn't think it was one) and eleven minutes after Ian Sheridan had converted that, they got the winner; Lee Davey taking advantage of some very, very poor marking (see video below) to head the Welsh side into a play-off final against Lancaster City.

I can't believe I'm actually going to type this but the result was a touch unfair on Curzon as they were the best side on the night. However you won't find many of the large number of Mossley fans present at the game complaining too much at Bay snatching the win. Actually you won't have heard them saying anything due to the enormous grins they had on their faces.

If the video above isn't working or you want better quality, click here.

So while Colwyn Bay head off to Lancashire coast this weekend for a date with destiny, Curzon are left to ponder on another play-off defeat and what could possibly have been the last hurrah for the clubs most successful squad.

Stories of striker Norton departing for pastures new have been a staple of the non-league rumour mill for quite a few seasons now but this year they seem to have a lot more substance to them. Add to that gossip of other players moving on and the whispers of the purse strings being pulled a lot tighter, it could well be that next season at the Tameside Stadium is one of those that's described in future press releases as 'a rebuilding phase'.

Or as everyone else calls it, "not being as good as you were."


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