Belper Town vs Sporting Khalsa

Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round


Belper Town



Sporting Khalsa


  • Josh McKenzie - 1 goal(s)
24th August 2019 | 3:00 pm
Christchurch Meadow


Sam Arnold – probably went to bed wearing a cape on Saturday night.

Khalsa weathered an absolute battering from their higher league FA Cup opponents to earn a replay.

It would be no exaggeration to say Belper had enough chances to win an entire competition of matches but were met by some resolute defending by the visitors and an inspired performance by goalkeeper Sam Arnold.

Arnold’s penalty save from Nathan Curtis on 87 minutes was the highlight of a string of magnificent saves to keep his side’s hopes alive.

Belper were straight out of the traps and might have taken the lead within a minute, Arnold saving well from Craig Nelthorpe after the first of a number of rampages down the right flank in the first half.

Khalsa took an unlikely lead on 14 minutes, Josh McKenzie picking up a fine pass from Liam Armstrong to effortlessly slot home.

Arnold produced a brilliant save to deny Curtis on 26 minutes and two minutes later the same player set up Riece Bertram to header just wide.

Nelthorpe should really have done better on the half hour after some poor defending as Belper piled on the pressure.

Kyle Bryant’s volley on 35 minutes was superbly saved by Arnold and with the clock ticking towards half time Bertram’s effort was cleared off the line and Danny South’s header narrowly flashed over the crossbar.

The second half saw little difference in terms of the balance with Khalsa continuing to battle for their lives.

Within three minutes of the restart Zephaniah Thomas put an acrobatic effort narrowly wide and two minutes later another South header just missed the target.

The pressure finally told on 65 minutes, Alex Paterson rolling a volley through a crowded goalmouth and past Arnold for a deserved equaliser.

Khalsa hit back, substitute Gaz Singh curled an effort over the crossbar from range and then Armstrong struck the woodwork after being set up by Kieron Whittaker.

At the other end Arnold pushed over a stinging effort by Belper substitute Derry Robson.

On 87 minutes, with a replay looking likely, Leon Miles brought down Steve McDonnell as he surged forward, only for Arnold to again frustrate the home side with a great save.

Khalsa almost grabbed a shock winner in stoppage time, Sean Williams drifting inside past a couple of players and hitting a low shot which Ryan Musselwhite in the Belper goal somehow bundled over the bar.

Sporting Khalsa: Sam Arnold, Carlo Franco, Lewis Worsey, Leon Miles, Tes Robinson (captain), Alex Woodhouse (Kieron Whittaker), Liam Armstrong, Mike Perks, Josh McKenzie (Dave Meese), Dan Westwood (Gaz Singh).

First team results 2019-20