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FOOTBALL: Title hopes still alive
3:56pm Thursday 13th February 2014 in Sport
KNUTSFORD’S title hopes were given a boost with a win at Cheshire League leaders Garswood on Saturday.
The Reds came from behind to secure victory thanks to goals from Rod Thornley and Kingsley Grandison, inflicting on their hosts a first home defeat of the season at the same time as ending their 13-match winning run.
Knutsford were the last team to beat the leaders prior to the fixture, at Manchester Road in October, but only keeper Mark Higgs’ fine save from Danny Clarke’s effort stopped the hosts taking an early lead.
Debutants Vinnie Braine and Grandison – both signed recently from league rivals Linotype – proved a threat and Braine saw a shot saved from Sean Lynch’s delivery before the break.
Mike Cartner’s pinpoint corner reached Lynch, but his header was cleared off the line and moments later Joe Woolley found Grandison but the new boy could only volley over.
Garswood ought have led at half time when Higgs spilled a low cross straight to the feet of Scott Baker, but he blasted over from six yards.
The hosts took the lead three minutes after the restart, Clarke’s long throw picking out Baker who turned Richard Smart and set up Steve Boothman to fire into the corner from the edge of the box.
Garswood could have been two up when another long throw reached Baker, but his acrobatic overhead kick was straight at Higgs.
Knutsford brought ex-Altrincham front man Thornley off the bench with half an hour left and soon afterwards the striker got across his man to nod home Cartner’s corner.
Six minutes later Knutsford’s new signings combined to complete a comeback; Braine’s ball over the top found Grandison in the area and the forward steadied himself before slotting a debut goal.
Knutsford: Higgs (GK), Cartner, Williamson, Smart, Jenyons, Beattie, Joe Woolley (Thornley 60), Pickford, Braine, Grandison, Lynch (Swift 68).