KNUTSFORD will not be featuring in future rounds of this season’s Cheshire Amateur Cup.

They bowed out 4-2 at the third-round stage at Upton AA on Saturday.

The Reds were a depleted outfit though, missing 10 players in their first match for three weeks.

“There wasn’t much between the teams but Upton were able to bring on fresh legs who in the end made the difference,” said chairman Jimmy Evans.

“Credit to both sets of players who worked hard throughout in appalling conditions for football.

“In the end it was another disappointing loss for Knutsford but some good individual performances and the effort was there to see.”

Knutsford, currently 11th in the Cheshire League Premier Division with three wins from 11 outings, went with a 4-5-1 formation, with the team effectively picking itself from those available.

They controlled midfield at the start and created early chances.

Thompson, back in good form, volleyed over the bar before putting his side ahead on nine minutes.

Mountney found Spilsbury, who crossed well from the left to the far post for Thompson to slot home from close range.

Thompson, lively and clever, beat two defenders but fired into the side netting, then Riley hit a 30-yarder just wide, a Rezayan curler was well saved and a Spilsbury header from a Cartner corner went just over the bar.

Upton came back into it when a Clayton header hit the bar, Egerton headed wide, they had a goal disallowed for offside and Dryden made a couple of good saves.

Spilsbury stuck out a foot to foul his opponent and give away a clear penalty.

Up stepped Ormrod to slot into the bottom right corner and make it 1-1.

Knutsford’s 4-5-1 formation with width was suiting Thompson better, though captain Coughlin at centre half was a tough opponent.

Maunder and Mountney, at the heart of Knutsford’s defence, were playing well with Riley and Rezayan in midfield controlling the tempo.

Advantage Knutsford at the break, or so it seemed.

Upton started the new half better, with Knutsford looking tired.

Riley sliced an effort wide but Knutsford were making mistakes and losing momentum.

Then from nowhere, a cross from the left to the far post allowed Mapletoft to head back across the six-yard area for Upton to score on 73 minutes.

Thompson was eager to take something from the game and when he was fouled outside the box he weighed up the options.

He hit his free kick in off the crossbar for his second of the tie.

Dryden made another great save, Rezayan hit a left footer over the woodwork.

A Maunder header from a corner hit the bar and out.

Knutsford were looking the more likely in the closing spell but football isn’t fair and on 87 minutes Upton went 3-2 up after advanced right-back Chatburn hit a good cross into the six-yard area and Conwa reacted first to head home.

Knutsford kept pressing but again on a breakaway the defence was caught out and Hale finished well from a tight angle.

Knutsford: Dryden, Wilbraham, Spilsbury, Maunder, Mountney, Riley, Rezayan, Evans, Cartner, Thompson, Kirby. Sub not used: Beresford.