Two goals from Dave Meese helped Khalsa strengthen their grip on third place in a vital six-pointer against Shepshed.
Having battled to a tired goalless draw with Boldmere at the weekend – the highlight of which was only a 43rd minute missed penalty by Craig Bannister – this was a much more vibrant Khalsa performance.
Shepshed – lurking behind Khalsa in fourth place – were looking for the three points, leading to an open affair. Meese had a shot well blocked in the first minute and two minutes later Joe Rogers fired over from 25 yards.
Michael Reeve had a good chance on ten minutes for the home side, firing wide from the angle.
But on 12 minutes, Bannister put Khalsa ahead, controlling a long high ball from Rogers before blasting into the roof of the net. The lead might have been doubled three minutes later, Jack Drury pulling off a great save to deny Bannister after a great bit of work down the right by Matt Martin.
Meese did double the lead on 20 minutes, lashing home from close range after a long-throw by Rogers caused mayhem in the Shepshed box. Drury again saved Shepshed’s bacon just before half time, producing another great block to deny Bannister.
Khalsa stayed dominant after the restart, Brad Lawley and Meese chancing their arm on 51 and 53 minutes. Meese made it three on 57 minutes, tapping home to put some distance between the two sides both on the night and in the table.
For the last 25 minutes, Shepshed had their tails up, throwing everything at Khalsa in a bid to get back into the game. On 71 minutes, Matt Langham pulled one back, his rocket of a shot from a pinpoint long pass beating Mihai Gherasim in the Khalsa goal despite him getting a hand to it.
Moments later Liam Read almost made it very awkward for Khalsa, heading narrowly wide from a Tom Rigsby right-wing cross.
Gherasim then made two good saves, first from Karl Whymark’s header from a corner and then again from Read. With seconds on the clock, an eventful game enjoyed a final flourish, first a Lawley header bouncing back off the bar and then Drury blocking the follow-up, before at the other end Rogers was dismissed for a second yellow card.
Sporting Khalsa: Mihai Gherasim; Carlo Franco, Tim Jackson, Joe Rogers, Tes Robinson; Brad Lawley, Dave Meese, Lee Wherton (captain), Matt Martin (Nicky Campbell); Craig Bannister (Calum Cooper), Marvin Nisbett.