HAVING worked tirelessly to recover from three goals down, Knutsford FC threw away the chance of an unlikely draw on Saturday.

Substitute Daniel Hutchins’ late winner allowed opponents Eagle Sports to claim a 4-3 victory they thought they had earned through a dominant first-half display.

Jordan Gunter’s Reds, however, were left devastated having hauled in a 3-0 half-time deficit.

Tom Rutter, Steve Jenyons and Shane Davies had struck for Gunter’s side to cancel out Chris Quirk’s hat-trick but disappointment ruled the day.

Gunter stuck with the three-man defence that had done so well in beating Daten in midweek, but against more Warrington opposition they fell behind after just two minutes.

Jamie Maunder made an error at the back which let in Quirk to rifle beyond Callum Spencer in the Knutsford goal.

Eagle were causing problems with long balls and counter-attacks and it was the former that undid Knutsford again as Quirk latched onto one, turned inside Jenyons and smashed home.

Two minutes before the interval, Reds found themselves starting at a three-goal disadvantage as a through-ball was missed by the defence, allowing Quirk to finish clinically for his hat-trick.

Perhaps mercifully for Knutsford, Quirk was withdrawn at half-time with a shoulder injury. It appeared his work was done, but Eagle did not bank on a Reds fightback.

After being brought down in the penalty area seven minutes after the restart, Rutter picked himself up to convert the spot kick to begin the revival.

Substitute Davies then drove in a corner for Jenyons to power home a header just before the hour mark and really set the cat among the pigeons.

Two minutes later, Davies went from provider to scorer as he latched onto Jenyons’ long ball and slotted home to level matters.

Both sides now felt confident of a winner and duly pushed, with the game becoming end-to-end.

However, after Gunter was forced into a tactical reshuffle by an injury to Milan Thompson, Eagle retook the lead.

The hosts attacked down the right and Hutchins – the man who replaced Quirk at half time – got to the ball before Joel Wilbraham to head low beyond Spencer.

Despite a late chance for Jenyons that was headed wide, it was a goal that proved fatal for Knutsford.