CURZON ASHTON 4, CHESTER FC 3
Altrincham loanee Tom Peers scored a dramatic injury-time winner for Curzon Ashton who climbed to seventh place in National League North following a thriller against visitors Chester FC.
It looked as though Curzon, 2-0 and 3-1 ahead, had blown healthy leads as Chester fought their way back into the match.
Peers spared the blushes with his second goal of the game at the death while earlier there was also a brace for Alex Curran.
Curzon, who were watched by ex-player Gordon Taylor, the former Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive, made an electrifying start having two efforts from outside the box in the first two minutes from Craig Mahon and Jordan Lussey, but both were off target.
From then on it was Chester who looked like the side to break the deadlock with the impressive Okera Simmons and Salford City loanee Marcus Dackers causing problems to Curzon’s makeshift defence.
Curzon goalkeeper Chris Renshaw had to save with his feet to deny Simmonds who also dragged a shot wide.
With Chester lacking a cutting edge, Curzon’s confident grew and, after having a penalty shout turned down for handball, they made the breakthrough in the 24th minute.
Jamie Cooke’s shot was deflected and fell kindly to Curran who looked in an offside position, but he showed great composure and drilled the ball into the bottom corner.
On the half hour, a clash between Renshaw and Simmonds, saw Simmonds receive lengthy treatment but he was able to carry on.
Curzon doubled their lead in the 38th minute with Curran bagging his second of the game, a low drive from 20 yards which again nestled into the bottom corner.
Within two minutes of the restart, Curzon allowed Chester back into the game after losing possession in the middle of the park. Darren Stephenson burst into the box from the left hitting a low shot which Renshaw could only palm away and Simmonds tapped home the rebound.
The goal saw Chester push forward at every opportunity looking for the equaliser but this left spaces at the back which Curran exploited after 54 minutes. Having been played through and bearing down on goal with a hat-trick looming, he unselfishly squared the ball to Peers who had the simple task of side footing home to restore a two-goal cushion.
Chester came close to grabbing a second on the hour, but Simmonds shot into the side netting.
Goalkeeper Louis Gray came to Chester’s rescue denying Curzon a fourth after saving well from Scott Wilson’s header.
There were further twists as Chester fought their way back into the game.
Poor defending allowed George Waring to head home Rob Apter’s cross to reduce the deficit to 3-2 in the 63rd minute.
Apter should have equalised when he broke clear and, with both Stephenson and Simmonds available, he chose to shoot but his effort went wide.
Chester equalised in the 74th minute when Apter again weaved his way to the touchline to deliver a cross for Kevin Roberts to head home unmarked from two yards.
With their tails up, Chester believed that they could go on and complete a remarkable fightback as Simmonds had a chance but fired over.
But late into added time, Peers broke Chester hearts when he chased down a nothing ball. Gray came out of his box but his clearance hits Peers and looped back over him into the empty net to the delight of home fans.
Curzon, who have suffered lately with teams coming back into games to take points off them, will take confidence from this victory.
Report: Dave Jones. Photos: Oli Biddle