KNUTSFORD FC may have progressed in the Cheshire FA Amateur Cup – but it came at a cost.

Tom Rutter, Scott Beattie, Barney Wynne and Milan Thompson all picked up injuries during a bad-tempered 6-0 win at Mallaby on Saturday.

As a result, Reds boss Jordan Gunter is left sweating on their fitness for Saturday’s Cheshire League Premier Division clash with FC St Helens at Manchester Road.

Rutter and Beattie were both on the scoresheet before picking up their knocks, with six different scorers notching for Reds.

George Riley, Joel Wilbraham and substitutes Matthew Harrison and Bradley Williams also hit the target for the visitors in a game that saw both sides have a man sent off, with Rob Spilsbury seeing red for Knutsford.

Reds beat Mallaby on their way to winning this competition back in 2018 and after adjusting to the unfamiliar 3G pitch, they set about repeating the trick.

They had the lead after 20 minutes when Riley sent in a free kick for Beattie to nod home the opener from close range.

Riley was again involved in the second goal as he found Wynne on the right wing, whose cross was glanced home by Rutter.

After playing a supporting role in the opening two goals, Riley got himself on the scoresheet with a well-struck left-footed effort.

Knutsford were in full control and it then became a case of how many they would score, with their back three of Graeme Brotherton, Bradley Warren and Jake Maunder almost completely untroubled.

Just before half-time, Reds got a fourth as Williams – who had just replaced the injured Rutter – smashed home a free kick with his first touch of the ball.

Mallaby briefly threatened after the break, with Wynne forced to clear an effort off the line, before Knutsford’s dominance resumed just before the hour.

Wilbraham – back on the field after an injury of his own – rounded off an excellent move by placing the ball into the bottom corner.

Spilsbury then advanced from left-back to set up Harrison for the sixth goal, but that was to be one of his final contributions.

After being fouled, Spilsbury kicked out at his opponent and the referee issued a straight red card.

A Mallaby player followed him in being sent off for a poor tackle as the game ended farcically, but it was job done for Reds.