CURZON ASHTON 2, AFC FYLDE 0
They were the hottest tickets in town to view the behind-closed doors National League North clash as Curzon Ashton hosted giants AFC Fylde.
Fans perched on the rooves of three vans in the car park behind the goal and had a perfect vantage point to witness an enthralling contest.
It saw minnows Curzon, who train two nights each, inflict a first league defeat of the season on their full-time professional opponents in a footballing David versus Goliath.
Remember it is only 18 months since Fylde lost to Salford in the National League play-off final at Wembley for a place in the EFL only to last season be relegated as their fortunes quickly plummeted.
Yet Curzon, with possibly the smallest budget in the division, completed back-to-back successes following Saturday’s win at Kettering.
Curzon climbed to the giddy heights of seventh place in the division ahead of former League clubs Boston United, Chester, York City, Hereford, Gateshead, Darlington and Bradford Park Avenue as they are clearly punching well above their weight.
You only had to look at the second-placed Fylde side which had former Morecambe manager Jim Bentley in charge.
It was captained by Nathan Pond who helped guide both Fleetwood Town and Salford City into the EFL and included seasoned campaigners like David Perkins, Danny Philliskirk and Chris Neal.
From the start it was cleared Fylde oozed class though, for all their possession and delightful build-up play, they lacked a finish.
Apart from a cross from Nathan Shaw, which landed on the crossbar, and a Nick Haughton drive which was well saved by Cameron Mason, they created little before Curzon stole ahead in the 36th minute.
Playing 3-5-2, left wing back Matthew Waters overlapped and fired a terrific shot from the left of the penalty area high into the far top corner, a fabulous finish that stunned the visitors.
And to compound their misery, minutes later they were reduced to 10 men when Perkins, once of Rochdale, Colchester, Barnsley, Wigan and Tranmere, was dismissed for a late challenge on Sam Walker who needed lengthy treatment.
When Dominic Knowles struck the bar early in the second half, a chance to make it 2-0, you wondered if it might be a costly miss.
But it was long forgotten in the 52nd minute when striker Darren Stephenson, captured from Stockport County, made a wonderful weaving run through the Fylde defence before slotting home a low shot.
Stephenson was denied by a brilliant save from Neal mid-half and Curzon were in dreamland.
It was one of those nights when it was destined not to be for Fylde, driven home when substitute Luke Brennan broke and set up a chance on a plate for Kurt Willoughby who, with an open goal, struck the inside of the upright and saw his effort rebound to safety.
Former Chelsea reserve-team player Philliskirk then had a shot well saved as you sensed the visitors’ hopes ebbing away.
And with the 10 men, to their credit still pressing forward, Curzon so nearly caught them twice in stoppage time through substitutes Jude Oyibo and Max Harrop.
Oyibo was put clean through only for Neal to save the day and Harrop had the ball in the net only for the goal to be ruled out for offside.
It was a memorable night for Curzon as underlined by the joyous celebrations at the final whistle.