HOCKEY: BACK-to-back away wins over Belper and Bourneville has kept second-placed Khalsa hot on the heels of leaders Nottingham University in the Midland League Premier Division.
In the first of two matches over the weekend, Khalsa travelled to Derbyshire on Saturday where they had to adapt quickly to a bouncy and very quick surface.
The familiar settings worked in favour of the hosts who won several corners in the opening ten minutes of the game, however Ben Stephenson, Scott Angliss, Sean Robinson and in particular keeper Elliot Rider denied Belper the opening goal.
Khalsa could have gone in front when Alex Idoine was put through on goal but the home keeper was quick off his line to make an excellent save.
Short corners from Idoine and Singh were also wide of the mark as Khalsa continued to grow in the game but neither side could make the breakthrough before half-time.
After the break, a reshuffled formation and approach allowed Khalsa more dominance. David Harris squandered a one-on-one situation by firing over the bar before and in the final ten minutes Khalsa found an opening.
The visitors were awarded a penalty corner from which Aaron Nagra stepped up to fire the ball home.
Spurred on by the goal, Khalsa were able to counter attack as Belper searched for an equaliser and despite some late pressure the visitors were able to come away with all three points.
The following day Khalsa were in action again against a rejuvenated Bourneville side who had enjoyed a crucial victory in their fight for relegation on Saturday.
A counter attacking approach suited Khalsa who were without several first team players due to injuries.
An early short corner was well saved by the home keeper while Idoine came close with a superb steered shot which sailed wide of the mark.
Khalsa continued to exploit the openness of Bourneville’s midfield and David Harris stepped up to the task by converting with a superb strike into the bottom corner.
Bournville were quick to respond with Elliot Rider saving well while at the other end Harris somehow fired over from point blank range.
A re-shuffle at the break saw Ben Stephenson introduced into the back four, allowing Anit Chudasama more freedom in midfield and the change paid off when Harris doubled Khalsa’s lead with an expertly dispatched reverse stick strike into the bottom corner.
The hosts were able to pull a goal back to set up a tense final ten minutes but Khalsa held out to make it back-to-back wins in the Midland League Premier Division.
Khalsa face Loughborough Town this Saturday.