Durham City suffer play-off setback

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DURHAM City’s slim hopes of making the Evo-Stik League Division One North play-offs all-but ended with a 3-1 defeat against Curzon Ashton at New Ferens Park.

City were second-best for most of the game and never seriously threatened after conceding three first-half goals.

Curzon went ahead on 16 minutes with a long-range effort from Connon Hampson. His strike from 35 yards had goalkeeper Lewis Graham clawing at thin air as the ball found the net via the inside of a post.

A poor clearance by visiting goalkeeper Joshua Ollerenshaw gave Stephen Thompson a chance, but he fired high over the crossbar.

And when Durham were guilty of a defensive blunder, the visitors took advantage. Chris McDonagh accepted a misplaced pass and set up Kristien Dennis, who gave Graham no chance.

Just before the interval it got worse for Dickie Ord’s side.

Once again, the home side failed to clear and Sam Walker curled a shot wide of the stranded Graham.

Durham’s cause was not helped when early in the second period they had to substitute David Dowson and Andrew Stephenson.

Jack Pounder (twice) and Arjun Purewal had half-chances to reduce the deficit, but it was not until the 80th minute that they managed a goal from Ross Wilkinson, who headed a Gary Shaw free kick into the bottom of the net.

Durham City: L Graham, Madden, Shaw, Davis, Wilkinson, Arjun Purewal, Cutts, Stephenson (E Graham), Dowson (C Winter), Thompson, Pounder.

Ref: Mr G Liddle.