Adam Morgan hat-trick in vain as Curzon Ashton suffer late heartbreak
Former Liverpool striker Adam Morgan hit a hat-trick but it was not enough to save Curzon Ashton from FA Cup heartbreak as League One AFC Wimbledon hit back from the dead to claim an extraordinary 4-3 win at Tameside Stadium.
The National League North strugglers - three divisions and 81 places below their visitors - looked to be coasting to victory from the moment Morgan fired a stunning 35-yard opener with just 30 seconds on the clock.
Morgan increased Curzon's lead before the break and completed his hat-trick in the 63rd minute - only for the Dons to strike back with three goals in two minutes from Tom Elliott, Dominic Poleon and Tyrone Barnett before Elliott grabbed the winner deep into injury time.
It was a shocking ending to the afternoon for the hosts, who had dominated the early exchanges and appeared to have left Wimbledon - whose predecessor club won the 1988 FA Cup - on the brink of an embarrassing defeat before Elliott's 82nd-minute opener dramatically turned the tide.
Curzon's superb start came out of nowhere as Morgan drifted in from a seemingly harmless position on the right before unleashing a spectacular left-foot effort which gave Dons goalkeeper James Shea no chance.
The visitors responded with a Jon Meades effort which was booted off the line by James Baillie, but the non-league side were in the ascendancy and could have increased their lead through Luke Clarke and Iain Howard.
The Dons' day did go from bad to worse in the 22nd minute when Joe Guest cut inside the visiting defence and crossed from close to the goal-line, and Morgan only had to turn into the net from point-blank range.
As the first period progressed the hosts were increasingly reliant on heroic defending to keep their two-goal lead intact, with Simon Woodford blocking a shot from Elliott and Jonathan Hunt's superb last-ditch interception denying a near-certain goal for Lyle Taylor.
When Morgan finished off another Guest cross in the 63rd minute it looked to be the ex-Liverpool man, who almost gave up the game after being released by then Reds boss Brendan Rodgers, who would hog the headlines, but the Dons kept pushing and grabbed what appeared to be a consolation through Elliott eight minutes from time.
Poleon set nerves jangling moments later when he poked home after a goalmouth scramble, and substitute Barnett steered a low shot home through a crowded box to snatch what appeared to be an improbable replay.
The Dons had other ideas, and both Poleon and Meades missed great chances before Elliott crashed in the winner deep into the fourth and final minute of injury time to end one of the FA Cup's more extraordinary afternoons.
Source : DSG