Curzon Ashton continued their incredible rise up the non-League ladder by winning promotion to the Conference North,They beat Ilkeston 1-0 in the Evo-Stik Premier play-off final to reach non-league's second tier for the first time in the club's history
Curzon were already playing at the highest level in their 52-year history after winning last season’s Evo-Stik North title. Despite having one of the lowest budgets in the Evo-Stik Premier, they maintained that momentum to finish in the top five and reach Saturday’s play-off final.They had home advantage, having finished above Ilkeston in the league table, and they made it count, beating the Derbyshire outfit 1-0 to secure back-to-back promotions and follow champions FC United into non-League’s second tier.
Curzon will play league games against Stockport County next season, 10 years after they were in the North West Counties League and Stockport were in the Championship.
They were Cheered on by a bumper crowd of 1,212 at the Tameside Stadium.
Joe Guest fired into the side-netting following a Curzon break before Simon Woodford gave John Flanagan’s men an 18th-minute lead, forcing the ball in after a well-worked short-corner routine involving midfielders Sam Walker and Alex Brown.Guest went close to doubling Curzon’s advantage while Ashley Stott’s curling effort tested the keeper. Kane Richards then blazed over while David Morgan tested Burton before the Nash had to see out five minutes of stoppage time. During which, Michael Williams’ shot deflected just wide of the Curzon goal and despite seeing Guest sent off after picking up a second yellow, they hung on to spark a pitch invasion.