The Harriers raced into a 3-1 lead within the first quarter of the game at home to Curzon today then, mysteriously, decided enough was enough and there was no point in trying to increase the lead further. That attitude gave the visitors the signal that the game wasn't lost and that they could actually get something from it. In a shambolic second half we gave them that opportunity and they took it with both hands thanks to two defensive errors from the normally reliable pairing of Jordan Tunnicliffe and Keith Lowe. Thankfully they could add to the two gifted goals and at the end we had collected all the points and also gained ground on AFC Fylde who had been held at home by Telford and Lee Hughes.
Ryan Croasdale returned to the side following injury along with Andre Brown and Darryl Knights. They replaced Ashley Carter, Mani Dieseruvwe and Tyrell Waite from the Barrow game last Saturday with all three going to the bench.
In proper February conditions of drizzly mist the game kicked off with the Harriers facing the wrong way. Normally that makes the fans uneasy with the un-familiarity of it but that feeling was soon assuaged when we raced into a second minute lead. Slow build up meant that for the first minute the ball was passed around in our own half until launched out wide by Lowe and then passed around the Curzon area until Darryl Knights laid the ball off for McQuilkin to slide the ball home.
We kept up the pressure and three minutes later we were two to the good. Elton N'Gwatala won the ball and played in Andre Brown to try his luck but his first shot was parried away by the Curzon keeper Hakan Burton but only back to the Harriers number nine. He made no mistake with his follow-up and the ball nestled in the empty net with the keeper stranded.
The Curzon players found themselves being called over to the touchline for a lecture by their manager but it must have fallen on deaf ears.
On the opening day of the season we had won the game 6-1 with our first two goals coming in the opening fifteen minutes but today we bettered that with three. Again we broke through the tissue thin Nash defence with ease and this time it was McQuilkin with his second of the game and looking good for a hat trick when his shot from just inside the area literally fizzed into the net.
Curzon began to realise that they were heading for another thrashing and had to do something about it. They began to close us down and force us into giving the ball away cheaply and from that time on we had lost the impetus. They had a shot that Alex Palmer saved, if a little clumsily, and we responded with chance for Arthur Gnahoua and Knights but both were snatched at and sailed over.
The game was now being played out by two equally matched sides although we never really looked like giving a goal away. Curzon had two chances but our defence stood strong and kept them from shooting and we could have made it four going into the break when Brown sent in a shot that the keeper parried again instead of collecting. It ran out to Knights but his shot was going wide until a deflection sent it goalwards until Burton, this time, made the ball safe.