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FOOTBALL: Knutsford beat title rivals to maintain unbeaten home run
KNUTSFORD leapt to the top of the Cheshire League Division One with victory over title rivals Garswood United on Saturday.
James Pickford and Reece Davies strikes either side of half time proved enough to send Knutsford top and maintain their unbeaten home record – since October 2011 – despite a late Garswood reply.
Chairman and stand-in manager Jimmy Evans received a plaque from Cheshire FA before the game, commemorating 100 years of football at Knutsford, 1888 to 1988, in their 125th anniversary year.
It took until 18 minutes for Matt Woolley to fashion Knutsford’s first chance when he fired over from 20 yards.
Captain Steve Jenyons made a fine covering tackle and as Knutsford broke Joel Swift saw his firm drive punched away by the Garswood stopper.
Knutsford – playing at Manchester Road for the first time in a month – were forced to hold firm as Garswood put the ball in the net on 28 minutes, only to be ruled offside, and struck the post minutes later.
However, it was the hosts who took the lead on 37 minutes when Pickford seized on a loose clearance and fired past the Garswood keeper from close range.
The hosts almost doubled their lead when Lee Shakoor’s shot was saved on the brink of half time.
Michael Cartner went close immediately after the interval, following good work from Pickford, and on 49 minutes Woolley’s pass found Davies, who calmly chipped the advancing keeper to double the hosts’ lead.
A nervy Garswood defence gave the ball away to Swift, who fired off target from 20 yards, and with 50 minutes played the forward blasted another chance over.
Mark Higgs saved well as Garswood looked for a way back into the fixture and on 67 minutes the visitors’ substitute found the net from the edge of the area, but Knutsford closed the game out for a valuable win.
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