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United's fine run ends
1:05am Monday 10th February 2014 in Sport
KNUTSFORD came from behind to beat leaders Garswood United 2-1 in Cheshire Football League Division One.
The Reds inflicted a first home defeat of the season on the St Helens side and put an end to their 13 game unbeaten run.
A strong cross-wind played havoc and the two teams struggled to adapt to it early on as they could only create half-chances in the game’s opening stages.
Sean Lynch struck high and wide from 25 yards for Knutsford, before Garswood’s Mike Furlong fired a half-volley off target in the only pieces of goalmouth action in the first 20 minutes.
The first real chance came for Garswood after 25 minutes when Steve Boothman won the ball from the Knutsford defence and set up Danny Clarke whose shot on the turn looked destined for the top corner, only for Mark Higgs to pull off a fantastic diving save.
Vinny Braine had Knutsford’s best chance of the half when a short corner routine resulted in Lynch’s flick finding the new striker unmarked ten yards out, only for Garswood ‘keeper Steve Dryden to deflect the ball over.
Mike Cartner’s corners constantly caused Garswood problems, one of his pinpoint deliveries found Lynch who saw his header cleared off the line as Knutsford ended the half strongly.
Joe Woolley got free on the right moments before the break, and his pull back from the byline found Kingsley Grandison but he could only volley over as the ball took an unfortunate bobble.
Garswood could have led at half time though when Higgs spilled a low cross straight to the feet of Scott Baker, but he wasted the chance, blasting over from six yards.
The home side took the lead three minutes after the restart, Clarke’s long throw reached Baker who turned Richard Smart and set up Steve Boothman who hammered in to the bottom corner from 18 yards.
Heavy rain fell throughout the second half to make playing conditions even more difficult, but Garswood seemed to adapt quicker.
They could have been 2-0 up when another long throw reached Baker whose acrobatic overhead kick was straight at Higgs.
Knutsford brought Rod Thornley off the bench with 30 minutes to go, and he seemed to reignite the Reds’ attack.
Just ten minutes after the substitution Knutsford were level, another Cartner corner found Thornley who got across his man at the near post to head in the equaliser.
Knutsford completely turned the game around six minutes later when the two new signings combined to make it 2-1. Braine’s ball over the top found Grandison in the area who slipped, but managed to regain his balance in time to slot the ball past Dryden for a huge debut goal.
Garswood pressed hard in the final 15 minutes but Knutsford defended well to keep them at bay, their best chance came in injury time when Clarke cut inside from the left but dragged his shot wide from 20 yards.
The win sees Knutsford move up to fourth in the table, six points off Garswood who have played two games less, with nine games left to play.