The Non-League Football Paper - - FA CUP SECOND ROUND QUALIFYING - By Chris Pratt

ADAM Thomas’ strike early in the sec­ond half was enough to put the Hat­ters in the hat for the next round of the FA Cup.

Thomas’ win­ning hit came af­ter just un­der 2,000 fans en­dured a first half where the ‘magic of the cup’ was miss­ing its con­jur­ers, with few first half chances.

Curzon’s Max Leonard tried to light the game up early with an ac­ro­batic ef­fort but it floated harm­lessly wide.

His team-mate Joe Guest was man of the match against Leamington on Mon­day night but that didn’t show in his poor de­ci­sion to shoot af­ter 30 min­utes when Niall Cum­mins was in space.

Guest did how­ever fire the first shot on tar­get just be­fore the end of a poor first half, shoot­ing straight at Hat­ters keeper Ben Hinch­liffe from dis­tance.

County hadn’t mus­tered a shot on or off tar­get by that stage. Curzon were the bet­ter side, a fact not lost on County man­ager Jim Gannon.

“Curzon went about their busi­ness with a fairly ag­gres­sive man­ner and they showed a good ap­petite,” he said.

“I said to the play­ers at half time that they can’t keep that up for the whole game. Keep work­ing them and keep mak­ing good de­ci­sions.”

County’s Sam Walker served no­tice of bet­ter things to come with their first shot on tar­get five min­utes into the sec­ond half be­fore Thomas curled County’s sec­ond shot on tar­get into Cameron Ma­son’s far cor­ner.

The lead was not what the home side de­served but if ever a game needed a goal, this was it.

They could have had a sec­ond min­utes later but Bo­han Dixon and Jason Oswell got in each other’s way.

The Hat­ters moved up a gear as the half wore on, Oswell’s barn­storm­ing run not matched by his cross to Ben McKenna as Ma­son in­ter­vened.

Oswell man­u­fac­tured a chance for him­self in the dy­ing em­bers, flicking the ball up with one foot and vol­ley­ing over with the other.

Nash man­ager John Flana­gan was dis­ap­pointed with Curzon’s sec­ond-half per­for­mance.

“We lost a bit of in­ten­sity in the sec­ond half. I thought we played well in the first half and we stayed or­gan­ised for long pe­ri­ods and they didn’t re­ally cause us any prob­lems. Maybe we were just a bit too open in the sec­ond half,” he said.

Curzon could have equalised with the last kick of the game but Matthew Rea­gan’s de­flected shot hit the cross­bar and Edge­ley Park ex­haled.

The Na­tional League North ri­vals re­sume their cam­paigns on Satur­day. Curzon are away at Brack­ley Town while Stock­port host North Fer­riby United.

ONE IS ENOUGH! Adam Thomas is con­grat­u­lated by his team-mates af­ter scor­ing the win­ner

PIC­TURES: Mike Petch

FORCE: Sam Walker strikes at the Nash goal dur­ing the Hat­ters’ vic­tory

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