KNUTSFORD’S winning start to the season was ended by Greenalls Padgate St Oswalds on Saturday.
A much-changed Reds side delivered a disappointing performance in a Cheshire League Premier Division draw with visitors from Warrington.
The hosts, depleted by seven players and disrupted by injuries during the game, gained a point in manager Scott Dignan’s absence courtesy of substitute Carl Sutton’s strike in the 87th minute.
A midfield pairing of wingers Sean Lynch and Michael Cartner was tasked with helping Reds seek a fifth straight win, and hopes were buoyed after taking an eighth-minute lead.
Ben Reeves hit a low cross for Liam Myers to side-foot home his 14th goal in six games.
Sam Moore kept out a header from Phil Harrison, who hit the bar from 30 yards soon afterwards, to maintain the lead in a scrappy game.
Sutton replaced the injured Cartner on 31 minutes and industrious Reeves then sent a curling shot high as a low-tempo game became a battle of attrition.
David Owens went close in the second half before Knutsford’s shape was further disrupted by the loss of injured Myers, replaced by Lee Morris.
With an unfamiliar midfield pairing of Matthew Torbitt and Lynch twinned with the loss of Myers’ hold-up play, Knutsford’s usual fluency was lacking.
However Reeves did brush the outside of a post in response to the momentum turning Greenalls’ way.
Robert Clarke headed over for the visitors, whose breakthrough arrived on 70 minutes.
Lee Vaughan exploited the right side of a three-man defence, shooting low into the corner to make it 1-1.
Following defensive mistakes, Liam McLoughlin was free for an easy finish eight minutes later.
But skipper Steve Jenyons, who had a fine game, delivered an excellent pass to the near post for Sutton to side-foot home the leveller three minutes from time.
Knutsford Moore (GK), Harrison, Torbitt, Eiselt, Jenyons, Smart, Lynch, Cartner (Sutton), Reeves, Owens, Myers (Morris)