KNUTSFORD’S target when they returned to the North Men’s League this season was to avoid history repeating.

The Black Knights made a step up nine years ago, but were relegated at the first attempt after winning only one of their 22 matches.

Their experience of Division Two West a second time around has been an entirely contrasting one after they finished third.

“We’ve proven that we’re more than capable of playing at this level,” said co-captain Jonny Price.

“It’s been a really positive campaign, and I think to be where we are is a great achievement given what happened back in 2010.”

Knutsford might have been closer to the teams in front too had their form not dipped at the turn of the year when they won only once during a six-game sequence.

However Price and company rallied and back-to-back wins at the end of March against Liverpool Sefton (4-0) and Didsbury Northern seconds (1-0) ensured they didn’t slip outside of the top three.

Those shut-outs left them with the second-best defensive record in the section behind Preston – an important statistic given that only the table’s bottom three teams scored fewer goals.

Price said: “Our organisation has been so important and defensively the guys have been excellent.”

He told the Guardian that a successful return to the competition would not give Knutsford a false sense of security.

Instead they are considering how they can improve next term.

“We’ve had a small squad for some of the games,” added Price, who shares duties with Tom Howard and will do again next season after the duo’s position was confirmed at the club’s annual meeting.

“That makes it tough because we’ve not had substitutes to call upon when maybe we’ve needed to.

“For us that’s something to work on.

“Of course we’d like to keep the group we have together, but new faces can give us greater depth.”

The club’s current members gather for their now traditional end of season game at Knutsford Leisure Centre on Saturday, April 27.

They will then head to Crosstown Bowling Club, on Chelford Road, for an awards ceremony from 6.30pm.

Price and Howard will present the Mat Hodge prize to their choice for first-team player of the season, a trophy named in memory of one of their predecessors who died last year.

Knutsford are hoping to recruit new senior players of all abilities, both male and female, for next season.

For further details, or to register an interest, send an email to Jonny Price at