Knutsford 2-1 Poynton
AS he does so often, Liam Myers scored a decisive goal for Knutsford on Saturday.
The front man’s 19th of the campaign is among the most important, securing as it did maximum points for the Cheshire League champions against a direct rival for their crown.
“It wasn’t a classic, but it’s a huge win for us,” said chairman Jimmy Evans.
“We were a little rusty, which is understandable because we haven’t been playing regularly.
“With 10 matches left we have things in our own hands, and that’s what we want.”
A trip to Eagle awaits on Saturday, kick off 3pm.
Knutsford will start that contest places second in the table, and still eight points adrift of pace-setting Whaley Bridge with three games in hand.
However Reds are buoyed by extending an unbeaten run in the Premier Division to a dozen matches after downing opponents that eliminated them from the Cheshire FA Amateur Cup in January.
They had survived a scare, when their guests struck an upright, before taking the lead against the run of play on 34 minutes.
Teenage debutant Dec Butler claimed it, diverting Myers’ flick-on from David Owens’ corner over the line from inside the six-yard box.
At the other end, skipper Steve Jenyons made a crucial block before Owens fired wide from Reds’ next attack.
However Poynton claimed an equaliser their first-half display deserved when Andy Hurst steered a cross from the right past goalkeeper Sam Moore.
Knutsford improved in the second half, and Owens chipped over as they took the initiative.
Sean Lynch’s attempt from distance was close, while Dean Warburton fired narrowly over.
Myers struck what proved to be the winning goal with a quarter of an hour to play, firing with power past Poynton’s custodian at the end of a counter involving Owens and Warburton.
Another twist followed when Jake Maunder was shown a second yellow card with 10 minutes left.
Knutsford held firm, and Owens fluffed a chance to put the outcome beyond doubt when he shot feebly.
With Maunder set to serve a suspension, Steve Jenyons likely to be ruled out by a knee injury and Graeme Brotherton unavailable for the next fortnight, they are short on cover in defence.
Evans said: “That’s a worry, particularly with a testing run-in.
“Eagle will make life difficult for us, they always do.
“But with Dean Warburton and Liam Myers in the team, we’ve always got a chance.”
Knutsford | Moore (GK), Maunder, Lynch, Jenyons (Cartner 46), Dec Butler, Pickford, Warburton, Evans (Rutter 63), Owens, Myers, Mattison (Beattie 76)