Khalsa’s league campaign finished with them finishing in third spot in the Midland Football League with a 5-2 win against a relegated but very game Dunkirk side. It was to Dunkirk’s eternal credit that they fought and scrapped throughout, even when fate conspired against them somewhat, and at times threatened to get themselves back into the game.
On a gusty day which made playing football very challenging, this was a match with plenty of action at both ends and saw no fewer than three players score their first league goals for Khalsa.
Within the first ten minutes, both sides enjoyed opportunities to open the scoring. On six minutes, Kevin Bastos cut inside on the left flank and swerved a shot that needed to be parried by Khalsa keeper Sam Arnold. Two minutes later, Sean Williams fed Dave Meese whose cross narrowly evaded the lurking Daniel Dubidat.
Khalsa took the lead on 12 minutes, Williams finding an excellent diagonal run by Gaz Singh who collected and finished in style for his first goal in Khalsa colours.
Two minutes later, the same combo tried the same trick but this time Singh couldn’t control quite so well and Dunkirk keeper Richard Stainsby – sporting surely the finest facial hair in non-league football – saved the shot.
On 19 minutes, the lead was doubled. A penetrating free kick from the flanks by Alex Woodhouse enjoyed the benefit of wind, the bounce off the artificial surface and players failing to connect to end up in the back of the net for his first league goal for the club.
Seven minutes later and it was three, Kieron Whittaker latched onto a great through ball and slotted home to join the trio of players opening their league goal account.
The goals kept coming as Dunkirk battled on. On 33 minutes, the impressive Harry Wakefield held off the attentions of the Khalsa defence and smashed home to make it 3-1.
But five minutes later Woodhouse made it 4-1, smashing a fine effort from 22 yards into the top corner.
The second half saw a let up in the goals but not the chances. Four minutes after the restart Williams ended a great move with a shot just wide of the near post and two minutes later Leon Miles had to make a fine interception to stop Alex Beno’s pass giving George Bosworth the simplest of chances.
Williams and Singh both went within inches of the goal with chances and at the other end Bastos headed just wide from a corner.
On 61 minutes Wakefield cut in from the right wing and delayed his shot just long enough for Arnold to sprawl at his feet and save.
Dunkirk pulled it back to 4-2 on 69 minutes, Wakefield springing the offside trap and finishing well.
On 72 minutes Holdcroft was brought down by Stainsby for a penalty and up stepped Meese to smash home his eight of the season.
In the dying moments Williams and Beckley both had chances but were unable to add to the scoreline.
Sporting Khalsa: Sam Arnold, Carlo Franco (captain), Alex Melbourne, Leon Miles, Alex Woodhouse, Kieron Whittaker (Mensah Kinch), Remi Birch, Dave Meese, Danny Dubidat (Jay Holdcroft), Gaz Singh (Mykel Beckley), Sean Williams. Subs not used: Alex Perry, Liam Armstrong.