Khalsa’s nightmare start to the season continued as they crashed out of the FA Cup at the hands of Romulus. Two goals in the space of four first-half minutes by Romulus ultimately sealed the fate of Ian Rowe’s men, who are also yet to win in the league.
Although Dave Meese pulled one back, the home side were unable to force an equaliser, despite hitting the woodwork twice in the second half. Khalsa were left to rue their failure to capitalise on a spell of early pressure in which they bombarded the Romulus goal but were unable to beat keeper Matt Sargeant.
Craig Bannister and Nicky Turton both chanced their arm from range early on, only to just miss the target and test the keeper respectively. At the other end Montel Gibson was inches wide with an effort on 15 minutes after some hesitancy by Khalsa keeper Mihai Gherasim.
Bannister’s freekick on 17 minutes went flashing over the bar and then Meese’s effort was blocked three minutes later.
Romulus took the lead on 25 minutes, Eddie Santos finishing well after some really good approach play by Yohan Rutty-Smith down the right. And the lead was doubled on 29 minutes when Gherasim was unable to stop Malachi Farquarson’s drive from the edge of the box.
It was only a clearance off the line by Rudy Misambo from Gibson on 37 minutes that effectively kept the game alive, an intervention that looked like it may have been decisive when Meese headed Khalsa back into contention on 40 minutes.
The second half continued with Khalsa in the ascendency as they went after an equaliser. Meese hit the crossbar within a minute of the restart with a header and on 56 minutes Bannister rattled the woodwork with a freekick after Bekir Halil had been fouled.
A dangerous Khalsa freekick by Turner on 59 minutes eluded everyone in the box before bouncing off Romulus’s Todd Evans to safety.
At the other end, Ricky Hill forced Gherasim to save well from a header as Romulus began to wrestle control back.
Khalsa’s best chance to equalise came on 73 minutes when Tes Robinson headed Turner’s corner narrowly wide of the post. In the dying stages, Charisma Agbonlahor struck the post with a great curling shot from the edge of the area and deep into injury time Gherasim had to produce a fine save to claw away Mark Branch’s freekick.
Sporting Khalsa: Mihai Gherasim, Carlo Franco, Joe Rogers, Rudy Misambu (Matt Martin), Tes Robinson (captain), Elliott Turner, Danny Ashton, Dave Meese, Craig Bannister, Nicky Turton (Simeon Townsend), Bekir Halil (Marvin Nisbett).