Dale Reaney helps Sporting Khalsa to replay ‘on one leg’
Sporting Khalsa have another chance at progressing in the FA Vase thanks to an immensely brave display from stand-in goalkeeper Dale Reaney.
Khalsa drew 2-2 at Coventry Sphinx, after extra-time, in the first qualifying round on Saturday and the replay takes place at the Aspray Arena tonight.
Reaney, on his debut for Ian Rowe’s side after joining from Wolverhampton Sporting over the summer, was key to securing the draw.
First choice shot-stopper Sam Arnold was sent off and Reaney entered the fray. With a quarter-of-an-hour to go, and Khalsa 2-1 down, he suffered a knee injury which left him almost unable to stand.
The knock meant he couldn’t kick or come out to claim crosses but, somehow, he managed to keep out efforts from Ryan Harkin and Demi Smikle.
Khalsa, of the Midland Premier, then equalised late on through Mensah Kinch. Lee Chilton got the other for Rowe’s men who had several chances saved in extra-time.
“It looks like he’s done something to his ligaments,” said Rowe.
“We think something popped in his knee. Our keeper was sent off, no complaints as he denied a goalscoring opportunity, and Dale made a mistake for their goal so he felt obliged to carry on.
“He was on one leg. He couldn’t kick it. He could barely stand.
“I’ve never witnessed anything like it. He could hardly walk. It was proper Roy of the Rovers stuff. We’ve got the replay and hopefully we can take the opportunity, but they’re a good side.”
Arnold can play tonight as his suspension does not come into effect until Saturday. The winner will go to Stone Old Alleynians.
Representing Midland League Division One in the Vase were Heath Hayes and Brocton.
Hayes advanced with a hard-fought 3-1 win over Shifnal Town and will travel to Leicestershire’s Saffron Dynamo in the next round.
Shifnal took the lead in the 30th minute, when James Cullen’s speculative shot from outside the box looped over keeper Jordan Harvey
Hayes equalised a minute before half-time when Matt O’Doherty scrambled the ball in from close range, and it took them just two second-half minutes to take the lead through Samuel Kayobe.
Harvey then pulled off a couple of top-drawer saves before Dean Williams sealed the win with a lovely lob.
Brocton also progressed with a 2-1 triumph over Kirby Muxloe.
Rohan Wedderburn-Spencer opened the scoring for the Badgers with a close-range header.
Alex Scott struck late on after a Kirby equaliser, to clinch a home clash with Nuneaton Griff. Eccleshall, of the North West Counties League First Division South are out, though, after losing 6-3 at Coventry Copsewood.
The Midland League Premier Division action saw Walsall Wood pick up their second 0-0 draw in succession.
They could not get through a robust Stourport Swifts side after also drawing a blank against Lye Town, who fell to a 3-2 defeat against Romulus.
AFC Wulfrunians got back to winning ways, prevailing 3-0 at Highgate United.
Jake Webb was undoubtedly the star of the show, chipping in with all three Wulfs goals. Wolverhampton Sporting did not play at the weekend but are back in action tonight, hosting top-of-the-table Ilkeston Town.
Stourport are playing again as well, up against Boldmere St Michaels at home.
Wood will be aiming to find a cutting edge at Highgate tomorrow night while AFC Wulfrunians will be hoping for a similar display at Worcester City.