Khalsa’s Wembley push heads south
Kent is the next stop for Sporting Khalsa on a journey they hope will lead all the way to Wembley.
The Midland League Premier Division title-chasers were handed a trip to Southern Counties East League Premier Division high-fliers Corinthian in yesterday’s FA Vase.
Saturday’s 2-0 victory at home to Kirkley & Pakefield has left Khalsa just three games away from a dream day out at the home of football.
The clash with Corinthian will take place on Saturday, February 8, with Khalsa boss Ian Rowe admitting his side will probably go into the tie as slight underdogs.
“The bookies have us both the same odds to win the competition, but I think the fact Corinthian are at home makes them favourites for this tie,” said Rowe.
“But I am not bothered by that too much. There are a few friends of our club who live in Sevenoaks, which is near to where they play, and we will have them watched.
“There isn’t a lot between the sides when you get to this stage of the competition.”
Rowe’s men were taken to extra-time by Kirkley & Pakefield on Saturday before goals from Sean Williams and substitute Mykel Beckley saw them through.
“It would have been a travesty had we been knocked out,” said Rowe.
“We must have had about 20 chances of which seven or eight were one-on-ones.
“We totally controlled and bossed the game, but couldn’t put the ball in the net in the 90 minutes.”
Despite their dominance, Khalsa were indebted to a superb save from keeper Sam Arnold three minutes from time.
“Looking back at the game, Sam was probably man-of-the-match for us,” said Rowe.
“They had three chances which Sam saved, and the last one was an absolute ‘worldie’.
“We wouldn’t have had much time to come back had that gone in.”
Walsall Wood’s Vase journey ended in frustrating circumstances at West Auckland Town, were a depleted visiting side were edged out 1-0 in a tight affair.
“We had five suspended, three injured and three cup-tied, it was nowhere near our first XI side,” said Wood chairman Justin Hodgin.
“The league were asked to re-arrange some fixtures a few weeks in advance so we could have the players back, but they refused.
“It was really disappointing as the league says it wants its teams to do well in the Vase and represent them.”