JOHN Flanagan wrote another chapter in his CURZON ASHTON success story last night as the National League North outfit upset former League club York City to book their place in the FA Cup first round.
After taking charge in 2011, the former Mossley and Woodley Sports boss has overseen the most successful spell in Curzon’s history, leading the Nash to back-to-back promotions and up to step two for the first time.
Now he can add an FA Cup first-round appearance to his list of achievements after Curzon beat York 2-1 in Monday night’s replay at the Tameside Stadium.
Just like on Saturday, they fell behind to a Richard Brodie strike, but again they fought back. York failed to clear a 41st-minute corner, allowing Curzon captain Alex Brown to fire in the equaliser.
Niall Cummins then saw a 51st-minute penalty saved by former Oldham trainee Luke Simpson but Cummins converted the rebound before the Nash held on for a famous victory, with York having only just been relegated from League Two.
The hunters will now become the hunted as Monday’s first-round draw, which was actually made just before kick-off, handed the winners of Curzon’s game an away tie against Westfields. The Hereford outfit play in the Midlands League Premier Division, step five of the non-league pyramid, and are the lowest-ranked side left in the competition.
Curzon boss Flanagan said: “It’s the furthest I’ve got as a player or a manager. I’m really excited and pleased for the club, and it gives us another opportunity to go a bit further.
“If you take anyone from a lower level then you’ve got to give yourself a chance. I don’t know anything about them so we’ll have to treat them with respect for what they’ve achieved already, but it is a great opportunity.
“The performance, particularly first half, was incredible,” he added. “There was only us trying to play. Early doors York tried to press us and stop us playing out, and they got their noses in front again.
“But after that, we moved the ball around, were very competitive and showed fantastic composure. That’s what pleased me most, that we tried to play the right way. We always bang on about it here – trying to pass and make it entertaining. It’s a great way to win if you can do it. It doesn’t always work, I might add, but we were brilliant. All credit to the players.”
MACCLESFIELD TOWN have the chance to pull off a shock as they were handed an away tie against League One Walsall and STOCKPORT COUNTY will host either Torquay or Woking while ALTRINCHAM will visit Lincoln or Guiseley.
BOLTON were handed a home tie against Grimsby while League One rivals OLDHAM host Doncaster. ROCHDALE aim to avoid an upset at Maidstone United and BURY will welcome AFC Wimbledon, who they face tonight in League One.