Curzon Ashton 1 - 0 Harrogate Town
Harrogate Town were left frustrated after Alex Brown’s 62nd minute finish saw them leave Curzon Ashton empty handed.
The visitors were fortunate to go into the interval level after Jordan Wright somehow managed to miss when it looked easier to score, though Warren Burrell and Lloyd Kerry also had attempts go close.
The decisive moment arrived just past the hour mark as Curzon’s Captain found space on the right side of Town’s defence and finished into the bottom right corner.
Town desperately looked for a leveller, and thought they had found it when substitute Jack Emmett struck the cross bar, though Curzon held on to make it a miserable afternoon at Tameside Stadium.
Simon Weaver made two changes from Tuesday night’s extra time defeat at Barrow AFC as Tom Platt replaced the suspended Lewis Turner and Kerry returned in place of Chib Chilaka.
The Nash started brightly and forced Chris Elliott into an early save when the stopper kept out former Liverpool man Adam Morgan’s near post strike.
Town responded well though, and almost took the lead in the 14th minute when Andi Thanoj stole possession in midfield, beat his marker and shot just over on his left foot.
The next chance of the afternoon fell to Niall Cummins 23 minutes in, but Curzon’s number nine’s tight angle shot was kept out by the feet of Elliott.
Town were having the majority of the shots with Burrell and Kerry both trying their luck, the latter forcing a fine one handed save from Cameron Mason down to his left.
Kerry again went close to breaking the deadlock from the resulting corner with a rebounded header, but Town should have been behind with six minutes to play of the first half.
Joe Guest had done well on the byline before cutting back in and seeing his shot deflect towards Jordan Wright just six yards out, though the Curzon man somehow failed to hit the target.
The contest sprung into life somewhat in the closing stages before the half time whistle with both teams exchanging shots, though neither Luke Clarke or Burrell’s efforts troubled either stopper.
The second half resumed at an equally fast pace with Curzon skipper Brown striking the underside of the bar seven minutes after the restart.
Luke Shiels then went close to finding the elusive opener when the centre half headed Leesley’s free kick back across goal, but past the post.
Just ten minutes after rattling the woodwork, Brown went one better and gave his side the lead when he was played in down the left of Town’s area and slotted into the bottom right corner.
After falling behind Weaver looked to his bench and introduced Chib Chilaka into the action, and the striker nearly levelled 14 minutes from time when his shot on the turn trickled past the upright.
Town’s Manager had introduced Emmett alongside Chilaka, and the winger too went close to levelling; striking the bar before watching as Pittman could not quite convert the rebound.
With Town chasing the game. Thanoj was given his marching orders when the midfielder was issued a second yellow card after clipping a Curzon man in the middle of the park to add further misery to an altogether forgettable game.
Harrogate Town: Elliott, Platt, Swain (Parker 75), Thanoj, Ainge, Shiels, Colbeck(Emmett 65), Burrell (Chilaka 65), Pittman, Kerry, Leesley
Subs not used: Ellis, Cadman
Booked: Kerry, Thanoj, Shiels
Sent off: Thanoj
Curzon Ashton: Mason, Wright (Jennings 84), Guest, Hunt, Stott, Hampson, Morgan (Rowney 77), Clarke (Tomsett 73), Cummins, Brown, Baillie
Subs not used: Howard, Ennis
Goals: Brown 62
Referee: M Woods