Warrington Town 1 Curzon Ashton 5
Curzon Ashton thrashed Warrington Town in the much-anticipated clash between two of the title favourites in Evo-Stik First Division North.
This fixture had been abandoned back in November due to floodlight failure, with Town winning 2-0 after 29 minutes, but they didn’t ever look like claiming the three points here.
Curzon led 2-0 at the break through Niall Cummins and Ryan Brooke, and despite Ben Wharton getting one back for the hosts, Brooke went on to complete his hat-trick either side of a fine free-kick from Matthew Warburton.
It was the first meeting of the two sides this season, following the postponement of the reverse fixture last month, and Curzon made sure they weren't going to make the same mistakes as in the abandoned game.
They had the better of a cagey opening, and dealt Town a few warnings in the first quarter, John McKenna forced in to a double defensive block and Cummins heading over.
Their opening goal, on 27 minutes, had been coming. Jordan Wright headed on a clearance from the goalkeeper and McKenna misjudged the bounce, allowing Cummins to race away and he coolly slotted home past the onrushing Josh Ollerenshaw.
Warrington were there for the taken, and they were dealt a second blow just four minutes later. Cummins turned provider, curling in a right-footed cross from the left which was headed in to the far corner by Brooke.
That saw Shaun Reid make a change, dragging off captain David Mannix, who had passed a late fitness test, to be replaced by Phil Davies, as the hosts tried to gain a foothold.
The change saw Richard Anane pushed up to midfield, and his cross led to the first chance of note for Town, Carlos Meakin glancing his header wide of the far post.
Half time came at the right time for Reid's men, and within eight minutes of the restart, it was game on.
Scott Metcalfe, who worked hard against his former club, crossed for Ben Wharton to head home.
But despite that boost, Town still struggled to grab control of the game, and by the hour mark, Curzon had restored their two goal advantage.
Ollerenshaw was at his best to deny Warburton in a one-on-one, but play went on, and the goalkeeper could only get a fist on a cross from the left, and the ball spun up in to the air and was bundled over the line from close range by Brooke.
Just as they had in the first half, Curzon saw their opponents wobbling, and dealt a second blow in quick succession.
There were suspicions of offside as Cummins was released, but Town could do nothing as his cross came over and Brooke headed superbly in to the far corner for his hat-trick and 4-1.
Five minutes later it was five, Cummins winning a free-kick on the edge of the box that was despatched brilliantly by Warburton, and with 20 still to play, there was a danger it could get even more embarrassing for the home side.
It didn’t, but for the second time this season, Warrington were humbled at home by a title rival, following on from the 4-1 home defeat to Darlington in December.
The win lifts Curzon within a point of Warrington at the top of the table, but with three games in hand.
Warrington: Ollerenshaw, Anane (Dawson), Corrigan, Meakin, McKenna, Robinson, Wright, Mannix (Davies), Wharton (Bowen), Kilheeney, Metcalfe. Unused subs: Ruane, McCarten.
Curzon Ashton: Burton, Woodford, Hampson, Hunt, Watson, Rowney (Lakeland), Wright, Walker, Cummins, Warburton, Brooke. Unused subs: Minor, Lacy.