KNUTSFORD FC start the new year fighting for a place in the semi-finals of the Cheshire Amateur Cup.

Weather permitting, Reds visit Runcorn Sports from the West Cheshire League Second Division in the quarter-finals on Saturday, kick-off 2pm.

They do so on the back of a poor result in the league at the weekend.

The Manchester Road men fell 6-5 away to Cheshire League One bottom side Wythenshawe Reserves, who celebrated their first league win of the campaign.

It was one of very few games played in the league due to the atrocious wet weather and even then kick off was delayed by more than an hour on a decent 3G pitch.

The Christmas break was evident as players took a while to get up to speed.

With a new-look back four, defensive errors were always on the cards for Knutsford and so it proved against a pacey home attack.

And some of the officiating seemed to be favouring the underdogs.

Knutsford did, however, take the lead on 15 minutes from a Jonny Cavanagh free kick.

Minutes later Charlie Rodick made it 2-0 after a long ball from Harrison Woolley and he went past two players to finish well.

Wythenshawe pulled one back soon after as they countered at pace.

The goal rush continued as Brandon Blades made 3-1 on 24 minutes after a good move involving Cavanagh.

At this point Knutsford should have gone on and sealed the result, but Wythenshawe were playing to a different script.

A poor goal was conceded on 32 minutes and then Woodward gave the ball away in the attacking third which allowed Wythenshawe to counter and equalise against the run of play.

As the half closed, from a corner, Oliver Giani failed to connect with the ball as it rolled under his foot and resulted in another tap-in for the hosts to get their noses in front.

Changes were made at the break and the second half was all Knutsford pressing hard with a number of good chances missed.

Cavanagh found Greg Mathers who cut inside and finished well for 4-4 on 58 minutes.

From another fast counter Wythenshawe made it 5-4 on 80 minutes and Reds responded immediately when Cavanagh hit a pearler from the edge of the box.

The turning point came in the 84th minute when from another long pass, the ball was cleared by Graeme Brotherton but fell to a Wythenshawe forward who missed his chance from 10 yards but a penalty was awarded which Wythenshawe duly converted to seal their win.

Knutsford’s players and management were astonished at the decision and Jimmy Woodward was sin-binned.

Knutsford: Smith, Gianni (Mathers), Wooley, Wilbraham, Fregapane, Sheldon, Brotherton, Cavanagh, Rodick, Woodward (Kelembeck), Blades (Slamani).