Sporting Khalsa vs Walsall Wood

Midland Football League


Sporting Khalsa


  • Brad Lawley - 1 goal(s)
  • Craig Bannister - 1 goal(s)
  • Marvin Nisbett - 1 goal(s)

Walsall Wood


5th December 2015 | 3:00 pm
Aspray Arena


Mensah Kinch - mesmerising with the ball at his feet
Mensah Kinch – mesmerising with the ball at his feet

Ian Rowe’s men made it a perfect ten league wins on the bounce with a relatively routine 3-0 home win over Walsall Wood.

With six first choice players missing, Rowe was forced to shuffle his side, although the returning Mensah Kinch, who will be giving Wood fullback Craig Deakin flashbacks for weeks, and James Pemberton played starring roles.

Once Craig Bannister had opened the scoring within five minutes, the only chance the visitors looked of grabbing a result was when the referee halted the match due to floodlight failure.

Bannister’s 26th of the campaign was a goal of real quality, the striker controlling a Carlo Franco pass and shooting on the turn past the despairing dive of Lee Evans.

Wood almost equalised straight away, the ball bouncing around a gusty penalty area before Dan Griffiths unleashed a shot which forced a great save from Pemberton before Ben Birch fired over from the resulting corner.

Brad Lawley doubled the lead on 14 minutes, bundling home a curling Bannister freekick which beat Evans but bounced off the post.

And Khalsa continued to turn the screw, a great move involving Matt Martin, Dave Meese and Franco ending with a great cross which just evaded Meese.

On the half hour a fine tackle by Steven Hayles denied what would almost certainly have been a second goal for Bannister after a fine pass by Mike Perks.

Then, just before half time, Marvin Nisbett headed home a corner after Evans had made a great save to deny Bannister.

Wood were a much better prospect in the second half, although it was Khalsa who continued to carve the better of the chances.

On 58 minutes, Nisbett stormed down the left and delivered a fine cross that needed the expert intervention of Birch to clear and then on 65 minutes Lawley should really have doubled his tally when a free header presented itself, only to tamely direct the ball into Evans’ hands.

Straight afterwards, Wood had two quick chances, the second requiring another great save by Pemberton from Drew Aiton.

With 20 minutes to go, the referee appeared to abandon the game due to one of the floodlights being out of action in one small area of the ground, prompting an impressive sprint by by the Wood players to the dressing rooms in undisguised jubilation.

However, a quick bit of electrical repairs prompted a u-turn by the ref and meant the Wood players – who must have been half way to the bar by the time the lights were back on – were forced to do the walk of shame back onto the pitch to complete the game.

In honesty, despite everything, it was Wood who were the better side in the closing stages, the Khalsa players looking disjointed as a result of the break while the visitors showed much more poise and application.

With the exception of a Kane Cork opportunity with six minutes left, there was little in the closing stages to trouble the notes and Khalsa’s win lifts them up to fourth place in the league.

Sporting Khalsa: James Pemberton; Carlo Franco, Tim Jackson, Joe Rogers (captain), Mike Perks; Matt Martin, Brad Lawley, Dave Meese (Callum Cooper), Craig Bannister (Kane Cork), Marvin Nisbett, Mensah Kinch (Michael Nelson).

Man-of-the-match: The electrician.

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