Ellesmere Port Town 1-2 Knutsford

KNUTSFORD took a significant step towards this season’s Cheshire FA Amateur Cup final last weekend.

However chairman Jimmy Evans warned afterwards they must improve if they are to keep alive hopes they can lift the trophy for the first time.

“It was a huge win against unknown opponents,” he said.

“However we made it hard for ourselves, particularly during the second-half when we were sluggish and wasteful.

“We deserved to get through, but we’ll have to be much better if we want to go further.”

Paul Riley picked the team in the absence of boss Scott Dignan.

Curiously, the assistant manager will now hope to plot the downfall of his former club after Knutsford were paired with Linotype in a draw for the semi-finals.

His options at Ellesmere Port were restricted when Nehru McKenzie, Graeme Brotherton and Bradley West were all ruled out by injury.

And the visitors may have feared the worst when Liam Myers’ early penalty, awarded after he had been tripped, was saved by goalkeeper Chris Hickling.

However Reds did take the lead after quarter of an hour when full-back Sean Lynch met Myers’ free-kick with a header.

A second goal followed on 25 minutes when Myers slipped a clever pass into Ben Brooks’ path he drilled with power into the net.

The West Cheshire League outfit served a warning when Phil Quilliam struck an upright before Steve Jenyons spared the blushes of goalkeeper Sam Moore when he cleared off the line.

A feisty encounter then boiled over when Port captain James Davies was sent off as punishment for stamping on Myers.

Reds toiled to make their advantage count in the second-half on a sodden pitch, although Oliver Jones almost got lucky when his cross struck the woodwork.

At the other end, Moore thwarted Wainwright.

Brooks was next to shoot against the post after he was teed up by Myers.

Dean Warburton fired high before prompting Hickling to stop his next attempt with a leg after he had waltzed past four defenders.

Jones smuggled a header from a corner off the line, then gifted substitute Jamie Easton with a chance to shoot after passing straight to him.

Max Jolley halved the home team’s arrears with six minutes left when he converted a penalty needlessly given away by Moore.

Substitute Richard Smart blasted over at the other end before Scott Beattie fluffed a better chance with only Hickling in front of him.

Brooks slammed the loose ball against the crossbar, but Knutsford hold on to their narrow advantage.

Knutsford | Moore (GK), Jones, Lynch, Jenyons, Hare, Warburton, Yuille, Beattie, Riley (Smart 68), Myers, Brooks Subs not used McKenzie, Brotherton, West