Knutsford 2-1 Southport

SAM Bowker’s winning goal ensured Knutsford will start this Saturday’s game, their most important of the season so far, in a positive mood.

The Black Knights were made to suffer by back-markers Southport, who had won only once previously in the North West Men’s League this term, before coming from behind to claim maximum points.

They sit fourth in the standings ahead of a visit from out-of-sorts Keswick, who are only a single point better off following defeats in two of their past three matches.

Push back is at 12.15pm.

Knutsford had dominated possession during the early exchanges against Southport, but fell behind in the eighth minute.

The hosts felt Simon Locke had been fouled, but the visitors turned over possession before pushing into their opponents’ D and slotting home.

With Simon Trenbirth orchestrating their attacks, Knutsford improved after the interval.

And their persistence earned reward, Bowker volleying in at the back post after skipper Dave Price’s initial shot had been deflected into his path.

Knutsford’s back four stayed solid when Southport ventured forward, while goalkeeper Tom Wright made two smart saves when the away side did get a glimpse of goal.

A decisive goal arrived when Bowker, after blocking Danny Butterworth’s shot on the line, recovered to dribble around the keeper before sending the ball into the net with the side of his stick.

It leaves Knutsford four points adrift of leaders Urmston.