Hednesford Town slumped to defeat in front of their own supporters after three second half goals from Curzon Ashton either side of the dismissal of Town striker Kyle Perry made it a forgettable afternoon for the Pitmen.
After a morale-boosting victory in midweek over AFC Telford United, Frank Sinclair’s side came into the game looking to record back-to-back league victories for only the second time this season as they also aimed to pull themselves further clear of relegation trouble.
The home side started very much on the front foot and should have been ahead inside two minutes when striker Ahmed Obeng raced clear but failed to finish on two occasions with his first effort being saved by Curzon goalkeeper Hakan Burton before putting the follow-up wide.
Hednesford shot stopper Dan Crane then had to make a smart save low down from Alex Brown in the eighth minute before Town winger Adam Thomas couldn’t get on the end of a whipped ball in from Shelton Payne.
Crane was then called into action again, this time to deny Mike Norton from close range as the visitors started to cause more problems as the half progressed.
In truth there was little to talk about from the first period, although the Pitmen should really have gone in ahead only for Jack Fitzwater to head Sean Williams’ free-kick wide of the upright on the stroke of half-time.
After building up some pressure at the start of the second half it would be the visitors that would strike first when Hednesford failed to clear their lines from a corner and Niall Cummins prodded home from six yards after finding room inside the box.
Four minutes later things went from bad to worse for the home side as they were reduced to ten men. After winning a free-kick in the middle of the park Perry tussled to get the ball back from the opposing player, but the match referee determined this to be violent conduct and dismissed the striker.
This put the Pitmen even further up against it and although there was a scramble inside the Curzon box on two occasions Burton wasn’t called into making a serious save.
The visitors would kill off any hope of a comeback in the 80th minute when Cummins grabbed his second with an overhead kick from close range after a corner ball picked him out.
The home side’s agony was compounded in stoppage time when substitute striker Dan Cockerline raced clear to score from the edge of the box on his debut.
Hednesford now have a week’s break from action before travelling to Stockport County next weekend.
Hednesford Town: Crane, Thomas (Ennis 75), Truelove, Bailey, Fitzwater (Glover 63), Digie, Obeng, Williams, Perry, Ngamvoulou, Payne
Subs not used: Ransome, James, Regan
Curzon Ashton: Burton, Rowney, Woodford, Hunt, Shaw, Hampson, Guest, Brown, Cummins (Lowe 85), Norton (Cockerline 76), Wright
Subs not used: Brooke, Warburton, Mason
Star Man: Kennedy Digie
Entertainment Rating: Two Stars