Khalsa suffered their first league defeat in almost a year, crashing 3-1 at a lively and spirited Dunkirk side.
Despite only having four chances during the 90 minutes, Dunkirk successfully converted three – with some style – while Khalsa wasted a string of opportunities that could, on another day, have seen them in double figures. All three Dunkirk goals came during a crazy ten minute spell towards the back end of the first half, by which time nobody could have complained had the visitors been comfortably out of sight.
Jake Want in the Dunkirk goal – who performed heroics all night – produced a tidy save from Dave Meese on eight minutes before Mike Perks was guilty of wasting an opportunity on 18 minutes after an excellent defence splitting pass from Scott Stevenson.
Mark Green fired a warning shot for the home side, shooting narrowly high and wide from range after keeper James Pemberton had been forced to rush from his box and, at the other end, Rikardo Reid was put clear by Meese only for Want to save before making two further great blocks from the resulting corner.
Khalsa rued their inability to convert their chances on 31 minutes when Green opened the scoring after a nifty move down the right involving David Webb and Jarrod Westcarr followed by an equally impressive finish.
Two minutes later, a sublime pass by Ball put in Webb whose magnificent finish over the head of Pemberton doubled the lead. And Khalsa’s agony was compounded when Kieran Whalin’s crossfield pass picked out Webb who again finished in style from distance on 41 minutes.
A shell shocked Khalsa came out in the second half in a more attacking shape and with striker Dan Westwood replacing Brad Lawley. On 52 minutes great last-ditch defensive play by Dunkirk saw goalbound efforts by Marvin Nisbett and Meese blocked from a Wherton corner and minutes later Meese dragged a shot wide from a good position.
Want again denied Khalsa on 57 minutes, perhaps his best save, stopping Westwood in his tracks after he fashioned an opportunity for himself from midfield and then frustrating Reid in another goalscoring position.
Khalsa finally made one count on 71 minutes, substitute Simeon Townsend turning and firing into the net from a corner, giving the visitors a glimmer of hope after also dominating the second half.
But this hope was all but snuffed out on 79 minutes when substitute Ben Hadley – on the pitch for a matter of minutes – foolishly saw himself dismissed for an off the ball incident.
In the final moments, Dunkirk had their first opportunity of the second half when substitute Oliver Clark wrapped up a fine break by the mesmerising Webb, firing a dipping drive onto the top of the crossbar.
The defeat marked Khalsa’s first in league action for 322 days, since losing to Ellesmere in September 2014.
Sporting Khalsa: James Pemberton; Carlo Franco, Lee Wherton (captain), Joe Rogers, Tes Robinson; Dave Meese, Mike Perks, Brad Lawley (Dan Westwood), Scott Stevenson (Ben Hadley), Marvin Nisbett; Rikardo Reid (Simeon Townsend).