NATIONAL League North side Curzon Ashton secured their place in the FA Cup first round proper after they came from behind to beat York City in a closely-contested replay at Tameside Stadium last night.
After the first game at Bootham Crescent ended in a 1-1 draw York City started brightly in Gary Mills’ first game in charge and went ahead after five minutes when Richard Brodie sensationally volleyed home from 25-yards out, only for Alex Brown to draw the hosts level just before half time.
Curzon then took the lead early in the second half when Niall Cummins fired home the rebound after his initial penalty was saved by Luke Simpson in the York goal.
Despite the Minstermen pushing for an equaliser in the closing stages to take the game to extra time, Curzon held out for a famous victory.
FA CUP FIRST ROUND!!!
— Curzon Ashton FC (@CurzonAshton) October 17, 2016
This is only the second time in Curzon Ashton’s 53-year history that they have made it to the first round, and their opponents will be Westfields, the lowest ranked side left in the competition.
Westfields, from the ninth tier of English football, play their football in the Midlands League Premier Division and are making their first appearance in the first round of the FA Cup.
Speaking after their victory, manager John Flanagan praised his players for their commitment and their style of football, and said: “I don’t think you can mark anybody under a seven for today, everybody stepped up to the plate.
“We were exciting, we moved the ball, we looked a threat – I think we deserve to be in the next round”.
After the live draw took place on BBC2 last night, Westfields chief executive Andy Morris expressed his relief at the draw.
He said: “We are delighted we are at home, six home games on the bounce now this season. I’m quietly confident with a home draw”.
The Nash will be looking to take inspiration from fellow National League North side Salford City after their cup run to the second round in last year’s edition of the competition.
Salford, with Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt co-owning the club, saw of Curzon Ashton in the third round of qualifying before upsetting League One Notts County in the first round proper.
Despite losing to League Two side Hartlepool in a replay, Salford showed that on their day any non-league club can go far in this competition.
The tie will take place on the 5-6 November.
By Will Pearson