FOR the second time in six years, Knutsford FC have lifted the prestigious Cheshire FA Amateur Cup.

A 1-0 victory over Poynton in Friday night’s final was enough to win back the trophy they lifted for the first time back in 2018.

Matt Mountney was Reds’ hero as he scored the game’s only goal in the early stages, with Nick Ward and Jordan Gunter’s side repelling everything their higher-ranked opponents threw at them thereafter to spark wild celebrations at full time.

At the heart of those efforts to keep their sheet clean were Steve Jenyons and Graeme Brotherton – the long-serving defensive duo who were part of the club’s last cup-winning side.

The game was billed as a clash of two in-form sides, with Knutsford having won nine of their 10 matches in 2024 while Poynton sat atop the Cheshire Football League Premier Division having won 13 of their past 15 matches.

However, it was Reds who made a quick start and after just four minutes, they were rewarded as Jonny Cavanagh found Mountney on the edge of the box, and he rifled home a great strike.

After that, there were few clear chances for either side with both keepers making one save each while Knutsford were denied a second goal by a scrambled clearance off the line.

There was a general feeling Knutsford were in control at the break, but they were keen for the security a second goal would provide in such a tight affair.

As expected, Poynton stepped things up after the break but Knutsford’s back five, with Jenyons and Brotherton at its heart, were up for the challenge.

When they did get through, they found keeper Dominic Smith in no mood to be beaten and he made an excellent save low to his right to keep his side in front.

Co-managers Ward and Gunter were then able to call upon vastly experienced forward Aaron Wilbraham – a veteran of more than 600 professional appearances for the likes of Crystal Palace, Bristol City and Stockport County among others – from the bench and his hold-up play proved pivotal in seeing out the victory.

Cavanagh even had a couple of chances to make the victory more comfortable as he had a free kick well saved before planting a header wide, but the early Mountney strike he created proved enough.

Attention now switches back to the attempts to gain promotion from CFL League One, which is still within reach ahead of a busy finish to the season.

Reds are set for nine games over the next five weeks, starting with a home game against Sandbach United Reserves on Tuesday.

Knutsford: Smith, Maunder, Fregapane, Jenyons, Brotherton, Kennedy, Cavanagh, Mountney (Davis), Rodick (Woodward), Mathers (Wilbraham), Ardern (Blades). Sub not used: Wooley