THROUGH the years, Knutsford FC have been the town’s flagship football club.

However, as they prepare to visit cross-town neighbours Egerton on Saturday, there are signs that the balance of power is starting to shift.

While Yellows fly high in the Cheshire Football League Premier Division, Reds are trying to recover from a poor start as new manager Nathan Steele gets to grips with his side.

Egerton, who sit fourth in the table, will go into the weekend’s derby match as favourites and full of confidence having won their past 10 games in league and cup.

The management and coaching team of Stephen Norman, Lee Williams and Dougie Pringle have fostered a winning mentality within the squad, a marker of which was them taking home last season’s JB Parker Cup – a replacement summer competition after the regular season was curtailed by Covid-19.

Their latest outing saw them see off in-form Eagle Sports 4-2 on Saturday thanks to a Kayle Power double and further strikes from Remmi Williams and Gary Da Costa.

By contrast, Knutsford are third-bottom of the table and winless in five league matches.

Their latest defeat was particularly crushing – a 2-1 reverse at Lostock Gralam in a game they led going into injury time.

Taking charge of his first league game, Steele brought four new signings into his Reds squad and they contributed to a vastly improved display.

And it looked like that would be marked with a victory when with five minutes remaining, one of their new additions put them ahead.

Receiving the ball from George Riley, Markell Bennett curled a lovely strike into the Lostock net to give Reds a lead to protect.

The celebrations that followed Markell Bennetts goal for Knutsford at Lostock Gralam. Picture by Karl Brooks Photography

The celebrations that followed Markell Bennett's goal for Knutsford at Lostock Gralam. Picture by Karl Brooks Photography

Just three minutes later, though, Lostock pegged them back thanks to a well-taken goal from Jordan Johnson.

Then, deep into injury time, Knutsford failed to clear a free kick and Joe Woolley crashed home a winner for the hosts.

Despite the late heartbreak, an improvement in performance gives Reds hope they can upset the form book against their near neighbours.

Kick off at Egerton’s Mereheath Lane home ground on Saturday is at 2pm, with admission costing £3 for adults while entry is free for children and OAPs.