IT is fair to say Knutsford FC will be glad to see the back of 2021 – an “annus horribilis” on the pitch.

They enter the new year second from bottom of the Cheshire Football League Premier Division table and on a run of five consecutive defeats.

Indeed, it has been described as their worst run of results in more than 130 years.

A lightning start saw them go 2-0 at neighbours Middlewich Town on Saturday, only for them to collapse to a 4-2 loss.

They thought they had found it in the first half-hour at Seddon Street as they swarmed all over their hosts.

Nathan Steele’s men had already had a couple of good chances before they took the lead courtesy of Jason Watkins, who bundled the ball over the line after Graeme Brotherton had headed a corner into a dangerous area.

The lead was doubled as the half hit its midway point after Elvis Omorogbe cut in from the left and fired a shot into the bottom corner.

Knutsford continued to dominate, with Markell Bennett missing a great chance as his shot was blocked by his own player with the goal gaping while Omorogbe hit an effort narrowly wide.

The first signs of what was to follow came just before half time as a lapse in concentration allowed a cross to come in from the Middlewich left, with Matthew Cann free in the area to halve the deficit.

That goal proved key in changing the momentum as the hosts came out for the second half with their tails up.

Midway through the second half, they were given the chance to level the scores when, after plenty of deliberation between the referee and his assistant, Watkins was adjudged to have committed a foul inside the area.

Ste Hughes slotted home the penalty and the game was all square going into the final quarter.

Knutsford had chances to retake the lead but with 10 minutes left, they fell behind when Leon Maddock crashed home a superb 25-yard effort.

They perhaps should have fallen further adrift when a Middlewich shot appeared to hit the post and bounce out when it had in fact – unbeknownst to the officials – gone into the goal and bounced out via a concrete stanchion.

There was incredulity among the home players but they soon did have their fourth, with Hughes capitalising on a mistake from Watkins to round off the scoring.

Reds’ next game sees them travel to Broadheath Central on Saturday, January 15.