KNUTSFORD’S players have reason to look back with regret on their first season back in the North West Men’s League’s top-flight, according to their captain.

The Black Knights, promoted from Division Two at the end of the previous term, finished fourth.

However they were in contention to play at a higher level until the closing stages.

“We fell short of what we’re capable of,” said Dave Price.

“A run of poor form towards the end of the season has cost us, and that’s disappointing when you consider the quality that we have in the group.”

He told the Guardian that the signings of Graeme Wolfenden, Gary Brown and Danny Butterworth had improved a side that reached the end of the campaign just two points adrift of runners-up Urmston.

Only Liverpool Sefton, who classified first, scored more goals than Knutsford too.

Price added: “It took us a little while to integrate the new players, but I strongly believe the guys we’ve added in the past couple of years have the ability to compete in the North League should we go up.”

Knutsford gave a demonstration of that in a 10-0 demolition of Bowdon’s thirds on the season’s final afternoon.

“That was probably our most complete performance,” said Price, who has since stepped down as skipper.

“In a way, it’s frustrating that we saved it until last.

“We need to work on being more consistent if we want to challenge for promotion next season.

“We were brilliant in patches this time around, only to then be woeful in others.

“We can be smarter, perhaps by recruiting a coach or manager that can call the shots and helps us adapt to the different styles of play we come up against.”