Khalsa’s wretched form against teams in the lower reaches of the division continued as a dogged and well-drilled South Normanton side not only contained the visitors but on a number of occasions threatened an upset.
On a sunny spring afternoon in Derbyshire, the opening stages were almost the definition of scrappy with the ball spending a lot of time in the air around the midfield.
Ben Robinson forced Khalsa keeper Sam Arnold into a good save on 16 minutes, twisting and turning in the penalty box and firing a shot that needed to be parried over.
The scrappiness resumed and it wasn’t until the 41st minute that the next opportunity of note arrived, a threaded through ball to Eric Graves ended with a shot that Arnold needed to block.
Just before the half-time whistle, Khalsa’s first real opening of the game arrived when Mykel Beckley broke into the box and rifled a shot across the box which needed to be deflected wide for a corner.
Within minutes of the restart, Dylan Garnett had the best chance of the game, springing the Khalsa offside trap but shooting hopelessly wide in a good position. Four minutes later and the home side had a huge shout for a penalty waved away by the referee when Kevin Hemagou went tumbling in the box under pressure from Shawn Boothe.
At the other end, Sean Williams – the only player on the pitch who looked likely to break the tightest of deadlocks – pulled an effort wide on the hour in a rare moment of note.
Khalsa stepped up a gear in the closing stages in search of the three points. With six minutes to play, Beckley hooked an effort towards goal which was well saved by Shiners goalie Curtis Hall.
And then in the dying seconds a right wing cross from Carlo Franco found fellow substitute Jay Holdcroft in space in the area and, despite being the player you would want receiving such a pass at that time, his turn and shot ended up tamely wide.
Just 90 seconds into injury time, the referee blew time early on a game which would still be stalemate if it was playing now.
Sporting Khalsa: Sam Arnold, Remi Birch, Alex Melbourne, Shawn Boothe, Tes Robinson (captain), Alex Perry (Josh Thomas), Mensah Kinch (Jay Holdcroft), Liam Armstrong, Mykel Beckley, Sean Williams, Alex Woodhouse (Carlo Franco). Subs not used: James Behan, Leon Miles.