Khalsa’s slim title hopes were dealt an almost certainly fatal blow as a scintillating second half spell by second-placed Coleshill saw them come back from behind to win.
Sitting just behind the leading pack in third, Khalsa would have fancied their chances against Coleshill and took the advantage before being pegged back. But it was a fracas in the later stages of the second half which bewilderingly saw three players sent off that overshadowed the whole affair.
Mykel Beckley probably should have doubled the lead on 22 minutes, finding the ball at his feet in a crowded penalty area but unable to bundle home. At the other end, a Ryan Edmunds free kick crashed off the crossbar before shortly after Dave Meese repeated the feat from open play at the other end.
On 41 minutes, some sloppy defended gifted the visitors an equaliser, Gardener turning into an empty net to make the scoreline probably reflective of the first half.
The second half saw Coleshill go through the gears, taking the lead on 56 minutes when Reece Leek converted a penalty.
Almost immediately, the visitors almost found themselves out of sight, Leek’s shot well saved by Sam Arnold in the Khalsa goal. But the match was put out of Khalsa’s reach on 67 minutes when more slack defending allowed Joe Smith to convert and make it 3-1.
This took much of the impetus out of the game, with chances drying up.
But the big talking point was the dismissal of Franco, Danico Johnson and Coleshill’s Liam Molesworth for their dubious parts in a mass fracas in which it was difficult to see why their actions separated them from those of anybody else.
Sporting Khalsa: Sam Arnold, Carlo Franco, Shawn Boothe, Tes Robinson (captain), Josh Thomas, Dave Meese, Mike Perks, Jak Jeys, Mykel Beckley, Mensah Kinch (Danico Johnson). Subs not used: Luke Adams, Dan Lomas, Mark Branch, Rikardo Reid.