Khalsa’s first league win of the season remains elusive after a stalemate against the side they will face in just under a fortnight in the FA Cup.
Although the visitors dominated a first half peppered with great saves by Khalsa keeper Sam Arnold, the final agonising moments saw Dan Westwood hit the woodwork during a huge melee in the goalmouth which would have earned the home side a win they probably didn’t deserve.
Arnold’s virtuoso performance really began on seven minutes, a lapse in concentration by Tes Robinson allowing in Andrew Nicol but somehow the Khalsa keeper kept the effort out before doing likewise moments later to deny Mark Danks.
On 13 minutes he almost undid his hard work, slicing a backpass from Leon Miles up in the air and then botching a second clearance before again producing a good save from Nicol. Directly from the resulting corner, Swifts hit the bar, the ball bouncing to safety.
Skipper Tes Robinson should have put Khalsa ahead on 17 minutes, misjudging an inch perfect Alex Melbourne cross from the left.
The game entered a scrappy 20 minutes or so, only sparking into life in the dying stages of the half. Melbourne had to head clear a great cross from Lewis Platt on 43 minutes to stop Danks having the easiest of finishes.
And perhaps the best save of the game came on the stroke of half time when Danks’s header from Drew Canavan’s corner saw Arnold unbeatable again.
An absolutely inch-perfect tackle by Alex Perry on 69 minutes denied Canavan the easiest of finishes after a break on the right before, at the other end, Westwood forced Swifts keeper Dominic Richards into action.
On 71 minutes Westwood’s tap in from Perry’s long-range effort was chalked off for offside and six minutes later Carlo Franco had to clear off the line after another Arnold save took the sting off substitute Callum Parker’s shot.
The dying stages saw Khalsa have three decent chances. First, Garfield Robinson’s jinking run and cross agonisingly eluded everybody on 72 minutes, then Lee Chilton rifled an effort just wide from a Franco long-throw.
Then, deep into injury time, some heroic defending by Swifts saw repeated shots from a corner blocked and Westwood’s clever chip come back off the post.
Khalsa return to action on Saturday against Loughborough University at the Aspray Arena (kick off 3pm).
Sporting Khalsa: Sam Arnold, Carlo Franco, Alex Melbourne, Leon Miles, Tes Robinson (captain), Alex Perry, Mensah Kinch (Garfield Robinson), Dave Meese, Tony Clarke (Josh Thomas), Dan Westwood, Lee Chilton. Subs not used: Jordan Hunt, Alex Woodhouse, Dale Reaney.
Man-of-the-match: Sam Arnold.