Knutsford 4 Styal 1

KNUTSFORD bounced back from last week’s defeat to end a five-game winless run at Manchester Road by thumping lowly Styal.

Reds led 3-0 at the break thanks to goals from Rod Thornley, Gary Prescott and Liam Myers before Thornley doubled his personal tally following Terence Butler’s consolation for the visitors.

Manager John Ferguson adopted a 3-5-2 formation and his side adjusted well during the early exchanges, Prescott volleying wide at the near post before Thornley’s header was saved by Styal shot-stopper Josh Clews.

However Clews was well beaten when Kingsley Grandison collected Joel Swift’s cross, firing on the turn towards goal only to see his effort crash against the crossbar.

Knutsford took the lead from the penalty spot after Thornley had been dragged down by Lee Broome, Myers stepping up to convert despite the goalkeeper getting a hand to his strike.

Prescott then nodded over the bar James Pickford’s cross, while Thornley failed to find the target with a free header from Mike Cartner’s assist.

Styal’s first half chance arrived following Ashley Streetly’s solo run from the centre of defence, but custodian Mark Huggs held on to his firmly-struck shot.

The hosts doubled their lead 10 minutes before the break when Pickford worked his way into the box from the right, teeing up Prescott who found the net at the second attempt.

Five minutes later Ferguson’s side extended their lead, this time when Cartner’s defensive header sent Thornley clear and the ex-Altrincham favourite lobbed Clews from inside the box.

The visitors pulled one back before the hour mark, Alex Whelan finding Butler and his drive evaded Higgs.

Knutsford wrapped up the points minutes from time when Richard Smart and Grandison combined for the latter to present Thornley with a pass from which he scored his second goal of the game.

Knutsford: Higgs (GK), Cartner, Swift (Thaker 84), Smart, Jenyons (Russell 29), Beattie, Grandison, Pickford, Prescott, Myers, Thornley.