Belper defeat proves a hammer blow to Khalsa’s title aspirations

Khalsa 2nds' Henry Wood is thwarted in front of goal . Picture: Morris Troughton
Khalsa 2nds' Henry Wood is thwarted in front of goal . Picture: Morris Troughton

Khalsa’s title hopes suffered a big setback on Saturday as they stumbled to a 2-1 defeat at leaders Belper.

Khalsa started brightly, knowing a win would take them level on points with their hosts and good build-up play between Jas Singh, Chris Darling and forward Dave Harris created a chance that was squandered.

Belper enjoyed a good phase mid-way through the half, earning a short corner but goalkeeper Elliot Rider was alert to save the shot on goal.

Khalsa were presented with a gilt-edged chance to break the deadlock when a strike from Harris was trickling towards the back post for Alex Idoine to tap in.

However a mis-trap pushed the ball wide of the open goal.

Belper capitalised on the glaring miss when a well-worked move down the baseline was pulled back for Chris Hall to finish off.

Khalsa adjusted to a more attacking formation after the interval and Aaron Nagra put the ball wide of the target from a penalty corner, while Idoine was denied by the home keeper.

The visitors kept pressing but a misplaced pass left them exposed and Ben Hurst made it 2-0 with a cool finish.

Khalsa reduced the arrears with a penalty-corner strike from Harris after a Sav Lall effort had rebounded on to a defender’s foot from the Belper keeper.

Superb link-up play in midfield then released Idoine on the baseline but he was unable to pick out a teammate, signalling Khalsa’s final hope of getting anything out of the game.

It was another frustrating week for Khalsa 2nds who were made to pay for their failure to convert chances in a 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Olton & West Warwickshire.

Darshane Theara fired home a penalty corner for Khalsa who were almost single-handedly kept at bay by the visiting keeper who pulled off a string of reaction prevent the hosts turning their pressure into goals.

With Khalsa trailing 2-1, skipper Ben Burton urged his team forward in search of a point.

However, two late counter-attacking goals allowed the visitors to come away with a flattering 4-1 success.

Khalsa must now regroup ahead of a double-header weekend which sees them travel to the University of Birmingham tomorrow followed by a rearranged fixture at Cannock on Sunday.

Khalsa 4ths beat visitors Redditch 4-1.

The home side’s goals came from Peram Dhillon (2), Pritpal Singh and Manjit Singh, while Alfie Black produced several fine saves in the home goal.