A vintage performance by powerhouse striker Simeon Townsend provided the platform from which Khalsa overcame their Hanley voodoo and progressed into the next round of the FA Cup.
Townsend was, at times, simply unplayable and his second-half goal – a brutal route one drive from just inside the box – capped a fine performance.
Having failed to overcome Hanley in three games over the last three seasons, Khalsa once again took the lead early on.
Tom Turner in the Khalsa goal provided the necessary intervention to prevent a Hanley equaliser on 14 minutes, a header by Angelo Errico from a deep free kick bouncing awkwardly off the keeper’s legs before being cleared by John Hill.
And Turner had to be on his guard again five minutes later, palming away a Jon Sheldon free kick as it curled dangerously outwards through the danger zone of the far post.
In a high-tempo game, the action swung to the other end, Craig Bannister‘s effort from 20 yards was clawed away by Joe Hemmings in the Hanley goal on 21 minutes, while less than a minute later Sheldon shot just over the bar at the other end and almost immediately Bannister fired over for Khalsa following great work by Lee Chilton and Townsend.
Chilton might have scored on 32 minutes as the chances came thick and fast, his header from a looping centre by Carlo Franco representing a decent chance.
And as the half drew to a close, a great piece of play orchestrated by Chilton and Meese ended up with Townsend rocketing a shot narrowly over the bar.
Given Hanley’s tendency to claw back leads from Khalsa over their recent encounters, it came as little surprise when six minutes after the break, the home side equalised.
A shot by Dan Cope was deflected into the path of Errico who tapped home amidst loud offside appeals from the Khalsa defence. And moments later Martin Stanyer almost put the home side in front, heading a cross from Ben Blowers just over.
The game continued at a breakneck speed but without any clear cut opportunities until Townsend’s goal on 67 minutes.
Chilton bravely won a header in the middle of the park, setting free Townsend who surged into the box, leaving his marker in his wake and drove a left-footed effort past the despairing grasp of Hemmings and in off the post. Four minutes later, Franco almost made it 3-1, his looped effort from outside the box after Chilton’s cross had been headed away by Joel Stair just cleared the crossbar.
Hanley continued to push and with two minutes to go, Sean Mountford will feel he might have done better from a Blowers freekick, heading tamely wide when in a good position.
Sporting Khalsa: Tom Turner, Carlo Franco, Joe Rogers, John Hill, Tes Robinson (captain), Lee Chilton, Dave Meese, Elliot Turner, Craig Bannister (Matt Martin), Simeon Townsend (Michael Nelson), Marvin Nisbett (Bekir Halil). Subs not used: Tim Jackson, Rudy Misambo, Jonathan Patrick, Mihai Gherasim.