KNUTSFORD’S sixth successive win since the start of the year was one of their simplest.
Sean Lynch scored twice for Reds against the Cheshire Football League Division One back-markers, enough to extend their lead at the table’s summit to 10 points after closest rivals Whaley Bridge surprisingly shared spoils with Styal.
Paul Schofield’s men know only smiles in 2013.
They were slow to start on Saturday, although Lee Mannion and Liam Myers, whose shot hit an upright, did threaten to score in the early exchanges.
A breakthrough arrived after half an hour, Lynch applying the finishing touch from a free kick with his shoulder.
Reds assumed control, Michael Schofield shooting high following fine work by Myers then directing an effort too close to goalkeeper Danny McIntyre from Lynch’s assist.
Grappenhall created the first chance after half time, but it served only to spur Knutsford.
Dean Warburton supplied a sweeping pass for Lynch, who controlled and then shot from the edge of the box to double the visitors’ advantage.
Carlos Edmondson missed a sitter soon afterwards, while at the other end goalkeeper Mark Higgs averted the danger after an attacker escaped the attention of Steve Jenyons.
Schofield sent on Gary Prescott as a substitute to mark his return to competitive action after breaking a leg, the replacement finding the net only to be flagged offside.
His flick led to Mike Cartner firing too high, while Jenyons smuggled a ball off the line to keep the visitors’ sheet clean.
Sub Lee Shakoor was the last to miss, shooting weakly from six yards.
A trip to sixth-placed Denton Town this weekend is likely to demand sharper shooting.
Knutsford Higgs (GK), Cartner, Jenyons, Smart, Williamson, Michael Schofield (Prescott), Mannion, Myers, Warburton (Lewis), Lynch, Edmondson (Shakoor).