Khalsa overcame league leaders Long Eaton despite playing for fifty minutes of the game with only nine men. Defenders Carlo Franco – two very bookable offences – and Joe Rogers – a debatable red card for denying a goalscoring chance with other players in line – were dismissed in the first half with the home side leading 2-1.
Khalsa took the lead early, a Tim Jackson corner turned home by Tes Robinson. But Robinson turned villain minutes later, bringing down Isaac Minott in the box to enable Aaron Cole to step up and slam home from the spot.
Khalsa regained the lead on 22 minutes, a Dave Meese flick on from another Jackson corner beating everyone to end up in the back of the net.
Rogers was dismissed on 33 minutes for denying a goalscoring opportunity and just before half time Franco went for a second bookable offence.
Half time left manager Ian Rowe with some difficult decisions to make, replacing Mensah Kinch – who had been terrorising the visitors defence – in order to bring on Jordan Uppal to shore up the defence.
The second half took on an almost Alamo-style feel with Marvin Nisbett ploughing a lonely furrow up front while bodies were put on the line and heroic blocks littered the field.
Despite an onslaught by Long Eaton, they couldn’t make the breakthrough, Pemberton forced into action to make great saves on 55 minutes (first from Pablo Piero and then Tim Byrnes) and 80 minutes (from Byrnes again).
Sporting Khalsa: James Pemberton, Carlo Franco, Tim Jackson, Joe Rogers, Tes Robinson; Mike Perks (Brad Lawley), Dave Meese, Lee Wherton (c) (Nicky Campbell), Mensah Kinch (Jordan Uppal), Marvin Nisbett (Simeon Townsend); Craig Bannister.