Sporting Khalsa vs Loughborough University



Sporting Khalsa



Loughborough University


13th September 2016 | 7:45 pm
Aspray Arena


Bekir Halil - absolute peach of a cross for the winning goal.
Bekir Halil – absolute peach of a cross for the winning goal.

Two goals from Dave Meese – his seventh and eighth of the season and fifth in four games – helped save Khalsa’s blushes in a game they made unnecessarily hard work of.

Despite the visitors playing for the best part of an hour with ten men following the dismissal of goalkeeper Conor O’Keefe, they pegged Khalsa back before the late goal.

The opening exchanges were a damp squib, largely reflecting the conditions as an almighty storm had, at one stage, threatened the match even being on.

A great block by Carlo Franco on 15 minutes denied Matthew Crookes in what was the first noteworthy incident, and not the last time Franco would make an inspired intervention.

On 22 minutes, Khalsa took the lead when Luke Shearer was sent tumbling in the box by Joe Jackson and Meese stepped up to convert the penalty, marking his fourth successive game on the scoresheet.

The visitors were dogged and adventurous and for spells had Khalsa on their heels.

First, on 25 minutes, a well-worked opportunity by Alex Read forced Tom Turner into action and minutes later Tom Barnes fired another low effort, making Turner be on his toes.

Dave Meese - loves his goals, this lad.
Dave Meese – loves his goals, this lad.

On 32 minutes it was the turn of Alex Johnson to test Turner from long-range, with the conditions making such options increasingly appealing.

Shearer chased a long pass on 36 minutes, causing O’Keefe to rush out of his goal and send him clattering, for which he could have few complaints about the dismissal.

Somewhat unusually at this stage of the season, the visitors had a substitute keeper on the bench and James Stallan was sent into action, his first duty to collect a low, skiddy free kick from Tim Jackson.

And Stallan went about his task in some style as the game moved into the second half, palming away a Marvin Nisbett header from Jackson’s cross.

Andrew Bridge forced a good save from Turner on 67 minutes, his swirling cross-cum-shot requiring some special attention, while at the other end Craig Bannister tried his luck on the break from the half way line, putting his effort just over the bar.

Strapping Loughbrough substitute Jason Davis caused all manner of problems for Khalsa, forcing Franco to produce a good block to deny him on the break before, at the other end, Meese almost set up Danny Ashton, only for a scrambled clearance to deny him.

Franco then pulled off a great last ditch tackle to deny Davis before the Students found an unlikely equaliser from Bridge after Turner had been unable to hold a low shot from Read.

The introduction of Bekir Halil, Simeon Townsend and Nicky Turton within a more attacking formation in a bold attacking move by Khalsa boss Ian Rowe represented a significant gamble to try and secure the three points.

And it paid off on 87 minutes when a gorgeous cross by Halil was powered home by Meese past the despairing grasp of Stallan.

Sporting Khalsa: Tom Turner, Joe Rogers (Nicky Turton), Tim Jackson, Carlo Franco, Tes Robinson (captain), Brad Lawley, Danny Ashton, Dave Meese, Luke Shearer, Craig Bannister (Simeon Townsend), Marvin Nisbett (Bekir Halil).

Man-of-the-match: Dave Meese.

See first team results and fixtures 2016-17