If truth be told, there aren’t many worse places to need to go and try and get a result after three defeats on the bounce than Heanor Town.
Drilled, high-tempo and intense as ever, Town were good value for their win, although the performance of the officials will, surely, have been weighing heavily on their minds since then.
A goal that was both offside and a handball, a sending off for either side that never happened, a penalty that was given as a dive and a cluster of decisions for both sides that left benches shaking their heads and supporters genuinely in hysterics, did not suggest a good performance by the boys in black.
But that takes nothing away from Heanor who took the lead as early as the sixth minute when a horrorshow of an attempt by Khalsa keeper Mihai Gherasim saw him first handle outside the area – going unpunished perhaps out of sympathy for what happened next – and then spill the ball to the impressive Kieran Debrouwer to tap home into an empty net.
With Khalsa wobbling from this early set-back, Heanor put the pressure on, Debrouwer almost bagging another on 15 minutes.
On 18 minutes, in clear view of the linesman, captain Chris Smith controlled with his hand before setting up Nathan Benger to double the lead and leave Khalsa boss Ian Rowe fuming.
Gherasim produced a good save on 25 minutes from Keenan Layton’s swerving free kick which Berger was just unable to convert from the follow-up.
Kinch, along with debutants Johnny Haynes and Luke Shearer, performed well, particularly in the second half as Khalsa attempted to fight their way back in.
Nicky Turton almost pulled one back on 55 minutes, springing the offside trap and rifling in a shot well saved by McCormack.
And Elliott Turner flashed a shot just wide from a long Haynes throw on 64 minutes and just seconds later Shearer dazzled down the right, drifting into the box before lashing a shot wildly over.
Khalsa finally got one back on 84 minutes, substitute Danny Ashton bundling home after a goalmouth scramble.
And the equaliser almost came on 88 minutes, Shearer’s lob over the keeper cleared heroically off the line by a rushing back Heanor defender. Ashton was sent off – with little complaint – shortly afterwards as things became bad tempered after Shearer was hacked down in the box only to be booked for diving.
Sporting Khalsa: Mihai Gherasim, Carlo Franco, Jonathan Haynes, Rudy Misambo (Danny Ashton), Tesfa Robinson (captain), Elliott Turner, Mensah Kinch, Dave Meese, Nicky Turton (Craig Bannister), Marvin Nisbett (Matt Martin), Luke Shearer.