KNUTSFORD FC hope to appoint a new manager next week.

Fifteen applications have been received and a shortlist drawn up for the interview process.

Club chiefs accepted the resignation of Nick Eaton last week, following a 4-2 defeat at Greenalls Padgate St Oswalds.

Eaton offered to stand down with Reds sitting 15th in the Cheshire Football League Premier Division table, having won two of their opening 10 games.

A committee meeting was convened and it was agreed Eaton’s resignation would be accepted.

Assistant manager Andy Hurst is overseeing the team in the interim period.

His first game in change was a 5-2 home loss to Cheshire Football League Premier Division leaders FC St Helens on Saturday.

With several regulars missing, Hurst was forced to make five team changes and field 10 inexperienced youths against a side aggressive into the tackle.

Williams and captain Manson were selected as holding midfielders to protect the defence and the tactics worked well in the first half, before Manson had to depart the field injured - as had Boone a little earlier.

The first half was flat, with very little quality from either side but Reds took the lead in the 43rd minute.

From a cross into the six-yard area Barry tapped the ball home at the near post on his debut.

With Manson off the field, St Helens were all guns blazing at the start of the second half and netted twice in three minutes.

Conaty became the third Reds player to go off injured at a point when the hosts had a few good chances but failed to make them count.

Knutsford’s confidence drained away after Saints bagged their third goal in the 70th minute and then a fourth 15 minutes later.

Barry halved the deficit with a left-foot shot from 25 yards out but the visitors had the last say from the penalty spot in added time.

Knutsford: White, Conaty (Naylor), Lambert, Brotherton, Quinn, Williams, Manson (France), Holt, Burgess, Boone (Barry), Geary (Koomson). Sub not used: Hodson.

Reds host Winstanley Warriors on Saturday, 2pm.