Cammell Laird res 2 Knutsford 0

KNUTSFORD’S dream of lifting the Cheshire FA Amateur Cup was dashed on Saturday when they crashed out to Cammell Laird reserves in the last eight.

Ben Holmes’ double guided the hosts through after the game was switched to Kirklands after the pitch at Manchester Road was rated as unplayable.

It took the home team only six minutes to find a breakthrough after Reds failed to clear Josh Hughes’ free kick, Holmes firing into the corner from 20 yards.

Knutsford’s two-pronged attack of Jack Woolley and Reece Davies saw plenty of the ball after going behind, but found the West Cheshire League’s defence difficult to break down.

Laird came close to doubling their lead when Hughes escaped down the left before pulling back for Danny Dixon, but his scuffed shot was gathered by Mark Higgs.

Knutsford’s first effort on target came five minutes before the break when Mike Cartner found space on the right and his deflected cross reached Davies who volleyed at Laird stopper Matty Hogg from a tight angle.

Knutsford upped the tempo after the break, threatening first through Ebbie Rezayan whose 25-yard strike flew over.

Woolley was left feeling aggrieved moments later when, after latching onto James Pickford’s through ball, he went down under the challenge of Hogg in the area only to be booked for diving.

Knutsford’s best chance fell to Rezayan on the hour; he found space in the area from Cartner’s pass, but his effort was deflected narrowly wide.

Moments later the hosts doubled their lead when Knutsford failed to clear a corner and Carl Clampitt’s audacious attempt at an overhead kick fell to Holmes who converted his second goal. Knutsford return to Cheshire League action at Linotype Cheadle this Saturday.

Knutsford Higgs (GK), Beattie, Williamson, Russell, Jenyons, Rezayan, Cartner, Pickford, Jack Woolley, Davies (Jones 74), Swift (Joe Woolley 65).