Sporting Khalsa progressed to the second qualifying round of the FA Cup for the first time after a pulsating and exciting game against Staffordshire neighbours AFC Wulfrunians.
Although Wulfrunians finished the game with ten-men after the dismissal late on of Danny Tipton in the lead up to what proved the decisive goal, but Tipton should have seen red within a minute when he brought down Marvin Nisbett in the area, the referee unbelievably giving a goal kick after weighing up the consequences of giving the foul.
A second penalty decision was turned down after 21 minutes, Matthew Hunt clipping Mensah Kinch but once again the official waved away the appeals. Although the opening stages were frenetic, they were low on clear-cut chances until Ben Jevons neatly headed home a brilliant Jake Sedgemoore freekick on 33 minutes.
Khalsa rallied a little and Rikardo Reid and Kinch were unable to take advantage of probing balls from the left from Nisbett within a couple of minutes of each other just before the break.
The home side came out looking a different side and gradually went through the gears.
Within minutes of the restart, a Tim Jackson corner was flicked on at the near post by Dave Meese and Tes Robinson’s far post header cleared off the line. Minutes later, Marvin Nisbett blazed over from a good position after a muddle between Chris Waterhouse and Hunt gifted him possession.
Enter Nelson and Bannister for Brad Lawley and Reid, a move that totally shifted the balance.
Nelson was unplayable from the moment he stepped onto the pitch and a third penalty decision – perhaps the most convincing of the lot – was turned down when he was scythed down in the area on 62 minutes. But he made his mark six minutes later, picking up the ball on the left, beating three men and feeding Bannister whose long-range effort flew past Tipton and into the net.
Nelson might have given Khalsa the lead two minutes later, his shot from the angle going just wide.
With nine minutes to go, Bannister grabbed his second, another long-range effort that ended a move of which Nelson was once again the architect, sparking jubilation on the touch-line.
With just minutes to go, Tipton got his belated marching orders after substitute Simeon Townsend was fed through by Nisbett, leaving the keeper little choice but to bring down the striker. Bannister stepped up and completed his hat-trick from the spot – his seventh goal in three FA Cup games this season.
Wulfrunians continued to battle, grabbing a late goal deep in stoppage time from Chatterjee, the substitute looping a header cleverly over James Pemberton. But it was too late to affect the outcome, Khalsa going into the hat for Monday’s draw.
Sporting Khalsa: James Pemberton; Carlo Franco, Tim Jackson, Joe Rogers, Tes Robinson; Brad Lawley (Michael Nelson), Dave Meese, Lee Wherton (captain), Marvin Nisbett (Simeon Townsend), Mensah Kinch; Rikardo Reid (Craig Bannister).
Man-of-the-match: Michael Nelson