Wednesday evening saw Khalsa travel to the far West of the Midlands to play TNS, a team looking to continue with their 100% start in the league. With a surge of new found belief and confidence from recent performances Khalsa were ready to take the game to TNS.
However TNS capitalised on a flat start from Khalsa and within ten minutes were 1-0 up, having pinned Khalsa into their defensive half for the opening minutes of the game. Khalsa didn’t respond and still found themselves lacking in possession of the ball and again gifted another goal to the opposition when the TNS striker Ridge found herself with plenty of time to place her shot to find the back of the net, 2-0. The home team could have extended their lead, but Parkes denied the long range efforts from TNS, including one fingertip save pushing the ball round the post.
Khalsa gave themselves a lifeline before the break. Walker’s hard work up front was to be awarded with a goal, after she beat the TNS right back to a loose ball, Walker bounded down on the TNS goal before coolly slotting the ball past the oncoming keeper to pull one back for Khalsa, 2-1.
The words of the managers must have been ringing in the ears of the Khalsa team as they appeared for the second half. Khalsa started to play attractive football, finding player’s feet and attacking in numbers down both flanks.
You could see that Khalsa were on the hunt for more goals and this paid dividends when they were awarded a penalty after Walker had tricked her way round the TNS defenders only to be bought down in the box. Glover stepped up to take the penalty and smashed it into the bottom left corner, leaving the TNS goalkeeper with no chance, 2-2.
The confidence of Khalsa grew and the balance of the game had swung in the majority to Khalsa’s favour. The TNS defence were being given a tough time by Khalsa’s attacking players and had to concede a corner to try and clear their lines. Ball’s out swinging corner was met with Wilton’s header, which looped over the TNS keeper and into the back of the net for Khalsa to take the lead, 3-2.
Khalsa were to add to their lead 10 minutes later when Nardone slid the ball past the defence straight into the run of Walker. Walker then drove a ball into the opposition, but the defenders tracking back could not deal with the pace of the cross and fumbled it straight into the back of their own net to the horror of the TNS keeper, 4-2.
Khalsa didn’t cease their attacks and in fact brought on fresh legs up front with both Mellor and Lewis coming onto the field. Mellor could have added a 5th as she latched onto a cross from Parsons, only to see her shot fired back at her off the crossbar. However the two combined again two minutes later with Mellor turning the provider. Working the ball well down the left, Mellor crossed the ball to an unmarked Parsons who seemed to have over run it, but her pace enabled her to finish from a tight angle and seal the win for Khalsa, 5-2.
A solid and inspirational performance from Khalsa’s Captain, Julie Stirrup, earned her management’s player of the game. The hardworking and speedy striker, Becky Parsons, deservedly won opposition team player of the match.
All the Khalsa players and staff would like to say a huge thank you to the supporters who travelled and celebrated with them on Wednesday night – was great to see so many there!