KNUTSFORD continued an encouraging start to 2019 when they recorded another victory last weekend.

Reds have won five of their eight Cheshire League Premier Division matches since the turn of the year, a sequence that has propelled them up to fourth place in the table.

They established an early lead against back-markers Denton when Milan Thompson swivelled to connect powerfully with a loose ball after Michael Cartner’s corner had dropped kindly.

He almost added a second goal when Kallum McDonough crossed from the right.

The visitors assumed control and Joel Wilbraham’s header from a set-piece flashed over before George Riley’s left-footed drive missed the target too.

Aaron Clayton was inches away from applying a finishing touch to a move involving Thompson and McDonough before Rob Black’s shot was deflected to safety by a defender.

Wilbraham headed over again from a corner and it felt inevitable that Knutsford would add to their lead.

Thompson’s snap-shot prompted Denton goalkeeper Martyn White to save smartly and the custodian was untroubled when Riley tried his luck again from range.

The pattern didn’t deviate in the second-half as a side managed by Jordan Gunter and Jamie Mottershead continued to dominate.

Black’s pass for Thompson ended with the youngster shooting high before he returned the favour and Black’s attempt rattled an upright.

White blocked Thompson’s next attempt before Sven Gibson’s header from a set-piece at the other end saw Reds’ number one Callum Spencer tip over.

Black ought to have done better after Matthew Harrison curled a pass into his path and Knutsford began to wonder whether their wastefulness would prove costly.

Substitute Bradley West’s clever cross picked out Black but he skied his finish from inside the six-yard box.

West, Knutsford’s leading goal-scorer this season, had a shot smothered by an in-form White before he almost connected with Cartner’s free-kick.

Reds finally moved out of their hosts’ reach on 77 minutes when substitute Mark Evans, returning after an injury lay-off tapped a loose ball over the line after White’s brilliant save had thwarted Cartner.

Morgan Palmeria missed a chance for Denton before their clearest sight of goal arrived on 88 minutes when substitute Sham Abraham screwed wide when it seemed simpler to find the net.

Knutsford have only two league fixtures to play, including a return against Denton.

They conclude the campaign when Greenalls PSO visit on Saturday, March 16.

Knutsford | Spencer (GK) Jones, Harrison, Wilbraham, Spilsbury, Riley, Clayton (Evans 75), Cartner, McDonough (West 46), Thompson, Black (Wynne 80) Sub not used Schofield