CHAIRMAN Jimmy Evans believes a lack of finishing power will see Knutsford miss out on retaining their Cheshire League Division One crown for a third successive year.

The Manchester Road outfit currently sit fifth, nine points off leaders Garswood United with only six games left to play.

But Evans feels it is a lack of goals rather than poor performances that have left them off the pace.

“It looks like we will be losing our title,” he said. “It’s been a frustrating and disappointing season as we should have had another 10 or 12 points in terms of deserving to win games.

“We have been woefully short in converting chances into goals, so we should be a lot better off and in the mix with the likes of Garswood, Rudheath and Eagle.”

It has been somewhat of a transition season for Knutsford having changed manager twice since their last trophy, but they are rebuilding with former title-winning assistant John Ferguson in charge.

“It’s a highly competitive league and the standard is only getting better,” added Evans. “We’ve lost a lot of players and it’s not easy to find another Dean Warburton, Tom Schofield or Liam Myers.

“We have brought in a couple of players recently and we have still got enough to be up there. If you look at the table there are probably six teams who could win it.”

Knutsford host lowly Pilkington on Saturday, but Reds’ Mark Higgs, Steve Jenyons and Joe Woolley will first be in action for the Cheshire League’s representative team in the Jeff Walton Memorial Trophy tomorrow, Thursday.

They travel to their Liverpool County League counterparts having established a two-goal lead in the semi final first leg last Wednesday.

“Jenyons has established himself and is playing well,” explained Evans. “Higgs is the best goalkeeper in the league and young Joe Woolley got on for the last half an hour, with everyone saying they were very impressed.

“Joe’s got seven man-of-the-match awards this season, which is the second highest in the Cheshire League – I’m not sure he’s aware of that but I’ve been keeping track.

“He’s had a particularly good season being selected for three representative sides in his second season of adult football after being promoted from our A side ."