KNUTSFORD were more recognisable on their return to action in the New Year, putting four goals without reply past Gamesley.

Goals from Michael Cartner, Richard Smart, Dean Warburton and substitute Carlos Edmondson helped the champions to end a sequence of four successive defeats in league and cup.

Their lead at the summit is a slender one though, for closest rivals Whaley Bridge had their own goals glut at rock-bottom Grappenhall.

Lee Morris hit a hat-trick, while efforts from fit-again Mike Ward, returning to action a year after fracturing his skull, Rob Newton, Jason Mellor and Bill Sutton completed the rout.

Third-placed Denton shipped six goals at Eagle, for whom Ged McAllister scored a treble, as the Warrington outfit climbed to eighth place in the table.

Garswood scored twice late on at Rylands to win a contest that they had trailed.

Scott Bakkor put the hosts ahead, only for Chris Francis to reply soon afterwards.

Dave Parr’s men led a second time when Liam Walker scored direct from a free kick, although they were pegged bag again Scott Tickle headed in from close range before the break.

The visitors finished stronger, Francis netting a second and Danny Clarke added a fourth goal in the last minute.

Elsewhere Middlewich Town bounced back from the disappointment of losing at home to Pilkington seven days earlier by beating lowly Billinge, while Ryan Jackson’s brace helped Lostock Gralam to a rare away win at Greenalls.

Crewe shared four goals with Styal, as did Pilkington at Linotype Cheadle Heath thanks to Neil Hilton’s spectacular late leveller.

Runcorn Town’s reserves moved clear at the top of the Division Two table after cruising to victory at home to Moore on a day when Rudheath had no scheduled game.

Poynton recovered quickly from last week’s defeat at Barnton, Martin Faulkner accounting for all of the visitors’ goals at Malpas.

Maine Road reserves proved too strong for newcomers Egerton, Josh Gittings netting twice for the hosts in a 4-2 success.

Goals from Lyndon Hughes and Richard Booth after the break sealed the points for Congleton Vale against Golborne, while Daten shared the spoils with Sandbach in the other match played.

Cheshire League
Division One
Saturday, January 5

Eagle Sports 6 Denton Town 0
Grappenhall Sports 1 Whaley Bridge 8
Greenalls 1 Lostock Gralam 2
Knutsford 4 Gamesley 0
Linotype Cheadle Heath Nomads 2 Pilkington 2
Middlewich Town 3 Billinge 1
Rylands 2 Garswood United 4
Styal 2 Crewe FC 2

Division Two
Congleton Vale 2 Golborne Sports 0
Maine Road res 4 Egerton 2
Malpas 1 Poynton 4
Runcorn Town res 6 Moore United 2
Sandbach United 1 Daten 1