Preston 2nd 4-0 Knutsford

KNUTSFORD’S hopes of being promoted in successive seasons were dented when they lost heavily to a direct rival last weekend.

The Black Knights have dropped to fourth in the North Men’s Hockey League’s Division Two West after winning only twice since the turn of the year.

A tally of four defeats in the same period has left them playing catch-up to rivals in front.

They travelled north up the M6 with only 11 players because of injuries ruling out some men and unavailability accounting for the absence of others.

Waiting for them were in-form hosts that had prevailed in six of their previous eight matches on home turf.

And they improved on that record when they scored two goals during productive spells either side of the interval to move out of Knutsford’s reach.

The visitors did create chances to reduce a distance between the sides on the scoreboard but they could not convert any of them.

There were resolute individual performances, including a return for Danny Butterworth, that encouraged co-captain Jonny Price.

He said: “Having Danny back is a real positive for us, and we’ll look to build on that in the remaining games of the campaign.”

The Black Knights will attempt to recover at the first attempt when they host Crewe Vagrants at Westfield Drive on Saturday, push-back 2pm.

A three-match unbeaten run for their guests ended last time out after they lost at home to Alderley Edge seconds.


North West Men’s League

Saturday, March 9

Division Four South: Knutsford 2nd 5-5 Deeside Ramblers 4th.

Division Seven South East: Knutsford 3rd 3-4 Bowdon 6th.