FA Cup history repeats itself for Sporting Khalsa boss
History repeated itself as Ian Rowe’s Sporting Khalsa beat Rugby Town in a thrilling FA Cup encounter.
Khalsa were 2-0 up, and then 4-2 down, before eventually winning 5-4 courtesy of Josh McKenzie’s late strike in the extra preliminary round tie.
It was Rowe’s first time facing Rugby in the Cup since he was in charge of Gornal Athletic, when his men triumphed 4-3 through another late winner in a similarly pulsating clash in 2011.
And he said: “Cup matches are about getting through, aren’t they?
“We were 2-0 up, so there are plenty of lessons to be learned about managing the game.
“They gained confidence from the goals and before we knew it, we were 3-2 down after 45 minutes.
“Then, in the second half, we conceded another.
“But then we made three substitutions to try to get back into the game, and it worked.
“The lads showed character and a never-say-die attitude.
“We didn’t want to just take a replay. The lads kept going and got the winner.
“There were pleasing aspects and disappointing aspects.
“Hopefully, defensively it was a one-off for us.”
McKenzie found the net twice, as did Sean Williams, and Dan Westwood was also on the scoresheet for Khalsa.
“We played Rugby for Gornal and we scored in the last minute then too, so it’s history repeating itself,” added Rowe.
“We play Belper next in the Cup, a new place for us.
“We don’t much about them so we’ve got to do our homework. We’ll see how we fare.”
Khalsa’s Midland Premier rivals Walsall Wood were on the wrong end of a five-goal affair, losing 3-2 at Shrewsbury-based Haughmond.
Lye Town were also dumped out of the competition, falling to a 3-0 defeat to Lutterworth Town.
Tividale, AFC Wulfrunians and Stourport Swifts flew the flag for the Midland Premier though as they each progressed to the preliminary round.
Tividale beat Wednesfield 2-1 and have a tough test against Chasetown next in the Cup. Wulfrunians set up a home tie against Leek Town through goals from Chris Knight and Jumaane Meggoe at Racing Club Warwick.
Stourport won 3-1 at Atherstone and will face Boldmere St Michaels.
Wolverhampton Sporting, of the West Midlands Premier, were dealt a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Heather St Johns.
But Wolverhampton Casuals remain in the competition, for now at least, as they drew 0-0 with Romulus and have a replay against them at Brinsford Lane tonight.
Meanwhile, in the West Midlands Premier, Darlaston Town (1874) were thrashed 6-0 by Shifnal – managed by former Wednesfield boss Danny Carter.
Dudley Town also suffered a heavy defeat – 5-0 at Littleton. Dudley Sports did not fare much better either, losing 3-1 to Pershore Town. Bilston Town drew 1-1 with Black Country Rangers, getting Bilston off the mark.
Cradley Town beat Smethwick 2-0, with Adam Jones and Dominic Strevens on the mark.
Bewdley Town were the weekend’s big winners as they put eight past Wem Town. Bewdley sit at the top at this early stage of the season.