KNUTSFORD’S women climbed out of the relegation zone after twice coming from behind to beat visitors Northop Hall on Saturday.

Their third victory of the season, ending a run of six successive defeats stretching back to November, improves their chances of playing in the Cheshire Hockey League’s top tier next season.

The prospects were not good when the away team scored first at Westfield Drive, although Knutsford restored parity when Hannah Webb converted Tanya Westenraad’s assist.

Northop edged ahead for a second time early in the second period, but still the home team fought back.

Sarah Fielding, on her return to playing duty less than six weeks after giving birth to her first child, netted another equaliser.

Knutsford’s persistence paid dividend with seven minutes left when star turn Webb slotted the ball past the visitors’ net-minder following a short corner routine.

A trip to neighbours Winnington Park, who slipped to last in the standings after losing at Whitchurch, follows this weekend.

Knutsford’s men continued their winning start to February with a 3-1 success at home to City of Manchester in the North West League’s second tier.

They stay fifth in the standings, eight points adrift of a promotion place.

Macclesfield, one place and a single point better off, visit Knutsford Leisure Centre this Saturday at 1.45pm.

Knutsford thirds, forced to play skipper Steve Hope as an emergency goalkeeper to cover absences, lost 6-1 at South Manchester.

They remain fifth in Division Eight South East as a result.