Curzon Ashton F.C.
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|Full name||Curzon Ashton Football Club|
|Founded||1963(as Curzon Amateurs)|
|Capacity||4,000 (524 seated)|
|League||National League North|
|2016–17||National League North, 14/22|
Curzon Ashton Football Club is a football club based in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, England. They currently compete in the National League North, the sixth tier of English football, and are members of the Manchester County Football Association. Nicknamed "the Nash", the club play their home games at the 4,000-capacity Tameside Stadium.
Curzon Ashton was formed in 1963 after the merger of two clubs, Curzon Road Methodists F.C. and Ashton Amateurs F.C., who played in the Manchester Amateur Football League. The amalgamated club's name was originally Curzon Amateurs before being changed to the current name.
Curzon joined the Manchester League and once they had found their feet in the higher competition, there was no stopping The Nash, taking a string of honours in the early 1970s. In 1970–71 they were Manchester Intermediate Cup runner-up and they followed that with a hat trick of wins in the competition. In 1973–74 they were runners-up in Division One of the Manchester League and then runners-up in the premier division, a feat they matched the following season. The reserve team then won four championships in a row and in 1977–78 won the league and cup double.
Season 1978–79 saw Curzon become founder members of the Cheshire League Division Two and they won promotion at the first attempt, missing the title by just two points. The first season in the top flight was celebrated with the club's finest moment when they became the first North West club to reach the semi-final of the FA Vase. They lost both legs 2–0 to Stamford, the home leg producing the club's record home attendance of 1800, and a record that still stands.
In the 1980s the Manchester Premier Cup was won five times. In 1983–84 Curzon became founder members of the North West Counties League when the MWCL Cheshire League and Lancashire Combination merged as part of the non-league pyramid. The club was placed in the first division and floodlights were purchased in 1986 as Curzon prepared for an assault on the title and possible promotion to the Northern Premier League. Promotion was not attained and manager Peter Mayo resigned due to work commitments during the 1986 season. His successor Les Sutton failed to win a single league game; although the club won the Manchester Premier Cup. He was sacked at the end of the season.
Despite finishing in a relegation position, Curzon became founder members of the Northern Premier League First Division the following year. A disastrous start resulted in the manager David Noble being sacked and Steve Waywell became the club's fourth manager in less than twelve months when he was appointed in October, 1987. Relegation was only avoided when the division was expanded from 19 to 22 clubs.
Waywell was relieved of his duties in February, 1993, and after Alan Zelem briefly held the reins, Winsford United assistant manager David "Taffy" Jones was appointed following which Curzon recorded their best ever win against local rivals Ashton United, beating them 7–0 on Easter Monday.
Season 1995–96 saw Curzon finish fourth in the table, their best ever position, under the guidance of Derek Brownbill, but they could not envisage what was to follow. Before the start of the 1996–97 season Brownbill resigned and joined Runcorn. Vauxhall GM manager Terry McLean took over, only to resign in September. At this time changes were taking place in the boardroom and Dave Denby was appointed to succeed McLean, bringing with him Ged Coyne as his assistant.
The team struggled and then it was the turn of Denby to resign before the end of the season with Coyne being invited to take over, before being permanently appointed in the close season. After finishing in a relegation position along with other North West based clubs Warrington Town and Atherton LR, Curzon moved to the Northern Counties East League following a meeting of the Northern Joint Liaison Committee, a decision which shocked not only the club but many other connected with football in the region. An appeal to the National League System Sub-Committee proved to be fruitless and so the club has become the first side to be moved in this way since the pyramid system was introduced.
Many difficulties in the Northern Counties East League followed with the club ending the season next to bottom. NJLC moved Curzon back west at the end of the 1997–98 season.
In November, 1998, Joe Murty was appointed manager and brought Martin Farnworth in as his assistant. Season 1999–2000 saw the club gain promotion to Division One of the First North Western Trains League. In June, 2000, Joe Murty was relieved of managerial duties and replaced with Gary Lowe. In season 2000–2001 Gary took the club to the Worthington Challenge Trophy Final where they lost on penalties. Also they finished in eighth position in the table.
After residing at National Park for 20 years, Curzon moved to the £4 million Tameside Stadium at the beginning of the 2005–06 season.
On Saturday, March 3, 2007, they beat Leamington 4–1 to reach the semi-final of the FA Vase for the second time in their history. They were beaten in the semi-final 3–2 over two legs by Truro City from Cornwall, however they were promoted to the Northern Premier League as runners up to FC United of Manchester. They also were runners up to FC United of Manchester in the North West Counties League Challenge Cup losing the final 2–1. In the 2006–07 season they narrowly lost 3–2 at the same stage to Macclesfield Town.
In the 2008–09 season, Curzon reached the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time, where they defeated League Two side Exeter City 3–2. They went on to lose 2–0 away to Conference National side Kidderminster Harriers in the second round. Also, for the second season in a row, they reached the end-of-season play-offs. In the semi-final, Curzon beat Skelmersdale United, before losing to Newcastle Blue Star in the final.
Following Gary Lowe's move across Tameside to neighbours Hyde, John Flanagan took charge of the club in the summer of 2011. In his first season at the helm, he guided Curzon to a second placed finish, the highest in the club's history, before losing a play-off final to Witton Albion.
The 2012–13 season saw the Nash reach the Northern Premier League Challenge Cup final where they narrowly lost on penalties to North Ferriby United. The 2013–14 season saw Curzon win a league championship for the first time in 36 years, a last minute Niall Cummins winning goal against Harrogate Railway Athletic sealed the league title for the Nash. They finished the season with 99 points, losing just five games throughout the campaign, and gained promotion to the NPL Premier Division, non-league's third tier. The following season the team won the play-offs, beating Ilkeston 1–0 in the final thanks to a first half goal from defender Simon Woodford while also overcoming local rivals Ashton United along the way in the semi-finals, in order to gain consecutive promotions to the National League North, the second tier of the non-league pyramid and highest level in the club's history.
The 2015–16 season saw the Nash record their highest ever finish in the club's history, finishing 11th in the National League North in manager John Flanagan's 5th season in charge.
Curzon Ashton have played at the Tameside Stadium in Ashton-under-Lyne since 2005, which has a capacity of 4,000 (524 seats). It meets the standards for the National League.
The stadium was officially opened by Sir Alex Ferguson. For the first game at the new ground, Curzon played a Manchester United XI, which included Gerard Pique, Giuseppe Rossi, Fraizer Campbell and Jonny Evans. Outside the stadium, a statue stands commemorating three locally born footballers associated with the World Cup; Geoff Hurst (born in Ashton), Jimmy Armfield (Denton), and Simone Perrotta (also born in Ashton).
Curzon Ashton have a women's team who play in the Midland Combination Women's Football League.
As of 5 September 2016 Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|Assistant manager||Ian Nevison|
|Chief Executive Officer||Natalie Atkinson|
Honours and records
- Northern Premier League Division One North: champions 2013–14
- Doodson Sport Cup best performance: Final – 2012–13
- FA Cup best performance: second round proper – 2008–09, 2016–17
- FA Trophy best performance: second round proper – 2015–16
- FA Vase best performance: semi-finals – 1979–80, 2006–07
- Top Goalscorer: Rod Lawton, 376 goals
- Biggest Ever Win: 10–1 vs Wakefield – 2012–13
- "Location – Curzon Ashton Football Club". Pitchero.com. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
- "Club History – Curzon Ashton Football Club". Pitchero.com. 8 September 2005. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
- "Curzon Ashton 3–2 Exeter". BBC Sport. 8 November 2008.
- "Kidderminster 2–0 Curzon Ashton". BBC Sport. 29 November 2008.
- "nonleaguezone.com • View topic – Start of a new era......". nonleaguezone.com. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
- "The Championship and Breaking Records". pitchero.com. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
- Ben Collins (2 May 2015). "Curzon Ashton celebrate after clinching promotion to Conference North". men. Retrieved 3 May 2015.