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Ian Rowe dreaming of Wembley with Sporting Khalsa ahead of huge FA Vase clash

By Matt Maher | Grassroots | Published:

Sporting Khalsa boss Ian Rowe believes whichever team emerges victorious form Saturday’s FA Vase showdown with Bromsgrove Sporting can go all the way to Wembley.

Khalsa boss Ian Rowe (right) believes his team can go far if they get past Bromsgrove Sporting

Khalsa host Sporting, their Midland Premier rivals, in what is without doubt the pick of the second round ties locally, if not nationally.

The hosts reached the quarter-finals last season, while Sporting made it one step further to the last four.

Rowe believes the winners of tomorrow’s game will have the potential to go all the way.

“I think it goes without saying the draw could have been kinder to both teams,” he said.

“Sporting were my favourites to win the Vase this season, so to draw them out of the hat isn’t ideal and that’s putting it lightly. I get on very well with their manager, Paul Smith. We were both gutted to draw each other because we both know how tough our teams are.

“I really believe this season that a team from the Midland League has the potential to go all the way to Wembley.

“We really couldn’t have got a tougher draw at this stage but Bromsgrove will be saying the same about us. If you want to be the best you have to beat the best.”

Further motivation for the hosts, if any were really needed, is that Saturday is the final game before they move temporaily to AFC Wulfrunian’s Castlecroft base, as work begins to fit a 3G pitch at their Aspray Arena home.

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“After tomorrow, every game will be an away game,” said Rowe.

The manager will be hoping for an improved performance from his players after admitting they “got out of jail” by beating Warstone Wanderers 5-3 in the JW Hunt Cup on Wednesday.

At one point Khalsa found themselves 3-2 down against opponents who play three levels below them, in West Midlands Division Two.

The win extended their unbeaten run to 16 games in all competitions but Rowe said: “We were awful and nearly had our pants pulled down.

“I made a few changes to the starting line-up but when we were trailing with 20 minutes to go I did start to wonder.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher
Football MMPJ - @mjmarr_star

Sports journalist for the Express & Star

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