KNUTSFORD FC felt harshly treated by the scoreline in their 1-0 loss at Crewe FC.

Despite five changes that included two debutants due to unavailability and injuries, Reds believe they merited at least a draw against opponents under new management.

“A big effort from Knutsford but having two legitimate goals chalked-off seems to sum up the season,” said chairman Jimmy Evans.

“We deserved more but no points and now there’s 14 games left to turn things around.”

Nathan Steele’s side remain second from bottom of the Cheshire Football League Premier Division ahead of hosting Lostock Gralam at Manchester Road on Saturday, kick-off 2pm.

Reds’ centre-half pairing of Brotherton and Shaw were again solid though needed better support from their full-backs, while keeper Beard had a good game and was rarely troubled

New left winger Leather was lively as was Jackson on the right before he was withdrawn with an injury at half-time.

The game was even in the first half with few clear opportunities, though Riley headed off the line to save Knutsford on one occasion.

Knutsford grafted in the second half but gave the ball away too cheaply at times.

A penalty shout for a foul on Geary was waved away.

Leather jinked past his full back and delivered several crosses but they were too close to the keeper.

On 53 minutes, a big mistake occurred down the left flank by failing to clear the ball when in possession, which allowed a cross from the right side to find Lane unopposed in the middle to slot home the only goal of the game.

Knutsford rolled their sleeves up and battled hard for the equaliser.

Naylor delivered from the right to find Barry six yards out who touched the ball just over the line, but the line official said no goal when it was felt in the Reds camp that VAR would have proved otherwise.

From a deep free kick, Lewis made a late run into the box and a Crewe defender got a touch before the ball fell to Lewis who slotted home but the same official flagged for offside.

“It was a big decision and wrong,” said Evans.

“Credit to Crewe who made it a close game though they benefitted from some poor official calls.

“When you are down the bottom – nothing goes for you.

“We have 14 games left and points are needed.”