Lichfield City vs Sporting Khalsa

Staffordshire FA Vase Final

1

Lichfield City

Loss

3

Sporting Khalsa

Win

  • Craig Bannister - 3 goal(s)
13th April 2015 | 7:45 pm

Recap

Craig Bannister – brilliant hat-trick in the final.

West Midlands Regional League champions Khalsa secured their second trophy of the season, a Craig Bannister hat-trick helping them to the Staffordshire FA Vase.

But unusually, Khalsa had to come from behind to win the trophy after front man Mark Rose – a threat all night with his strength and pace – raced onto a Dan Haynes through ball and finished in style past James Pemberton on 16 minutes.

It was the first real effort on goal of note in the game but really only served to galvanise Khalsa, who immediately stepped up the tempo.

Simeon Townsend – a bruising and intimidating presence during his hour on the pitch – almost equalised five minutes later, running onto a Mensah Kinch pass and slotting past keeper Jon Clough, only for Dan McLeod to acrobatically clear off the line.

Rose almost doubled Lichfield’s lead on the half hour, taking advantage of confusion between Tes Robinson and Pemberton and taking the ball clear of the keeper, only for Robinson to recover well.

The equaliser arrived on 35 minutes, Bannister lobbing Clough after great work by Townsend. And five minutes later, only a great save by Clough, racing from his goal, denied Bannister a second.

Khalsa really turned the screw in the second half, Bannister and Kinch causing all sorts of problems for the overworked Lichfield defence, Kinch in particular will have caused nightmares for full-back Gavin Hurrin.

Rose almost did it again on 59 minutes, receiving the ball 40 yards out, driving towards the wing before lofting a chip that floated agonisingly over.

Skipper Lee Wherton forced Clough into an awkward save on 68 minutes from a set-piece but the pressure finally told on 75 minutes, when Bannister received a pass from Marvin Nisbett with his back to goal, turned and fired a shot that eluded the grasp of Clough to put Khalsa ahead.

Five minutes later, substitute Brad Lawley’s header saw McLeod clear off the line again from a Tim Jackson pass.

Bannister wrapped up the victory with two minutes to go, saving the best until last with a turn and shot of absolute quality to put the result beyond doubt and securing his treble.