Mallaby 3-5 Knutsford

IT was not pretty, nor particularly convincing, but Knutsford progressed in the Cheshire FA Amateur Cup last weekend.

Their reward is a home date with another West Cheshire League side in the form of Newton.

Reds have that contest to look forward thanks to their resilience; they recovered from 3-1 down on Saturday to extend a winning run in all

And they did not lead leading-scorer Ben Brooks, who was unavailable, to do it either.

They had reason to feel comfortable when Dean Warburton opened the scoring inside seven minutes, finishing smartly after running onto Graeme Brotherton’s raking pass.

However they relaxed too much, and Andrew Bolton restored parity inside 60 seconds following a defensive mix-up.

Scott Dignan’s side were served further warning when Scott Beattie cleared off the line before they fell behind on 28 minutes.

Daniel Murphy still had work to do after cutting inside from the right, but squeezed his shot into the far corner from an angle.

Warburton blazed high early in the second half and David Owens teed up Phil Yuille, but he sliced off-target.

Ash Harrison was inaccurate too when shooting with an instep, then the home team’s goalkeeper saved brilliantly to thwart Owens after he received Lee Mannion’s pass.

Mallaby then added their lead on the hour, Jamie Smith steering in at the back post after two defenders – and custodian Sam Moore – had failed to cut out a cross.

Owens nudged in Sean Lynch’s cross from the restart to launch Knutsford’s comeback, although they had to wait until the 76th minute to celebrate a leveller when Warburton converted a penalty after Yuille was fouled.

Harrison poked in his first goal for the club since a summer switch from Linotype when he held off a marker to convert substitute Joel Riley’s long throw.

Another replacement, Bradley West, was unlucky to have a goal disallowed for a foul before Warburton slipped a pass to Nehru McKenzie with time running out.

The midfielder swivelled to shoot with his left foot, curling a perfectly-placed shot into the corner.

“We made hard work of it,” admitted Dignan afterwards.

“Our defending for all three of their goals was amateurish, and it gave them hope when they should have had none.”

Reds return to Cheshire League action at Denton, beaten in two of three Premier Division fixtures on home turf already this season, on Saturday.

Knutsford | Moore (GK), Beattie (Riley 63), Lynch, Hart, Brotherton, Owens (Smart 74), Yuille, Mannion, McKenzie, Warburton, Harrison (West 84) Sub not used Walsh