Harrogate Town 0-1 Curzon Ashton: Jordan Wright's strike sends Town out of FA Trophy

Harrogate Town
Harrogate Town

Shot-shy Harrogate Town exited the FA Trophy on a miserable afternoon as Jordan Wright’s tenth minute strike sent Curzon Ashton into Monday's first round draw.

Ashton are five places below promotion chasing Town in National League North but were the better side of a drab contest.

Simon Weaver was without the services of experienced pair Danny Ellis and Paul Thirlwell through injury, while Louie Swain was also out after picking up a knee injury in Tuesday night's 2-2 draw with AFC Fylde.

In came Cecil Nyoni, Matt Bloomer and Andy McWilliams, with James Cadman and reserve goalkeeper Tom Stewart making rare appearances on the substitutes' bench.

Heavy rain provided a greasy surface at the CNG Stadium, but it was the visitors who got to grips with it better in the early stages to take an early lead.

Top goalscorer Matthew Warburton was denied by goalkeeper Peter Crook as he found a gaping hole in Town's back four. But teammate Wright was quickest to react to the follow-up and bent a shot in from 25 yards, evading Matt Bloomer on the line.

Harrogate Town winger Jack Emmett came close to forcing a replay but saw a late shot hold up in Curzon Ashton's goalmouth. (Photo: Craig Hurle)

Harrogate Town winger Jack Emmett came close to forcing a replay but saw a late shot hold up in Curzon Ashton's goalmouth. (Photo: Craig Hurle)

Cutting in off the right flank, Joe Guest almost doubled Curzon’s lead but his rasping left-footed effort flashed wide of the far post on 25 minutes.

The winger fired another shot wide before a Brendon Daniels free-kick hit Town sub Dabe McGurk at the other end and caused a brief alarm for Curzon keeper Hakan Burton before trickling wide.

Burton was then quick off his line to deny an onrushing Jordan Thewlis as Town started to improve in attack on the increasingly wet surface.

Curzon started the second half where they left the first and Wright hit the side-netting after bursting into the area.

Dom Knowles then blazed wide after latching onto Crook’s long punt forward, while the Town stopper then had to be on point to tip Niall Cummings audacious effort over from 35 yards.

Jack Emmett made a bright introduction after replacing the ineffectual Joe Colbeck, and found Knowles inside the six yard box on 70 minutes but the striker was crowded out and hit his shot into Burton’s legs.

Warburton responded with a shot saved low down by Crook and the visitors were able to stifle Town in

Emmett almost forced a replay in added on time as he poked the ball past Burton, but the water-filled goalmouth held the ball up on the line and Jonathan Hunt raced back to clear.

Curzon had the final chance as Crook palmed away sub Stephen Everall’s strike but it didn't matter for the away side who advanced to Monday’s first round draw.