Chorley 4, Curzon Ashton 3: Magpies edge seven-goal thriller

Chorley struck late in dramatic fashion to edge a compelling seven-goal thriller against Curzon Ashton at Victory Park.

By Mike Nield
Tuesday, 28th December 2021, 8:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th December 2021, 8:06 pm

They had looked well in control of the game after a first half in which four attempts were cleared off the Curzon goal-line but their one-goal interval lead vanished immediately after the break and the visitors soon nudged ahead 3-2 to silence shell-shocked home fans in a fine crowd of 1,784.

The exertions of the win at Fylde 48 hours earlier looked to have taken their toll but the Magpies hit back bravely to equalise before snatching victory with five minutes to go.

When the match kicked off, Tom Peers missed a presentable opportunity to put Curzon ahead after 10 minutes shooting too high from just inside the box before Chorley went in front after 23 minutes.

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Jon Ustabasi hits the winner for Chorley (photo: Stefan Willoughby)

Millenic Alli embarked on a mazy run into the penalty area and his angled shot deflected off Harry Cardwell past keeper Chris Renshaw. Curzon levelled on the half-hour in the most spectacular style, Jack Dunn hitting a superb dipping drive into top corner from fully 30 yards.

Cardwell restored Chorley’s lead shortly before the break, steering the ball into the corner of the net from close range following a goalmouth scramble.

But the visitors equalised within a minute of the restart when Alex Curran prodded the ball into the net from a corner in a crowded six-yard box. Things were to get worse for Chorley when an attack on the Curzon goal was cleared and in a lightning breakaway the home defence was outnumbered, Dunn slipping a pass sideways for Peers to score easily.

At this stage the Magpies were staring a rare home defeat in the face with the speedy Curzon raiders looking eager for more. However, Harvey Smith threw Chorley a lifeline on 72 minutes, squeezing a header into the net from an Adam Blakeman corner.

It fell to super-sub Jon Ustabasi to send the Duke Street end wild when with five minutes to play he got on the end of a free-kick and steered a precise angled shot low into the far corner of the net.

It was all breath-taking five-star entertainment for the bumper holiday crowd, the all-important three points keeping the Magpies firmly in the title-race.

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