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First team report  

Sat 7th Jan 2017
The Buildbase F A Vase Fourth Round Proper
Sporting Khalsa 1-0 TAFC First team
WE STILL CREATED HISTORY DESPITE LOSING

Our superb run in the FA Vase came to and end in disappointing circumstances on Saturday with a soft penalty 13 minutes from time, but despite this very close defeat Manager Ian Richardson paid tribute to his players stating after the game "our lads played very well during our FA Vase run and can feel proud at the way they played against Sporting Khalsa. It was gut wrenching at the way we went out but we have to bounce back with a win on Tuesday night at St Margaretsbury and start climbing back up the table. I would also like to thank the Tring Army for their great support on our cup run".

As has been the case all through this years competition we were drawn away again and had a 200 mile round trip to Sporting Khalsa, based in Colin Phillips back yard namely Wolverhampton. The home side occupied fifth place in the Premier Division of the Midland Football League and were on a good run of form. They play at the same level as us but we knew they were a strong outfit and not surprisingly the bookies made them favourites to win the game.

It is always nice to visit other clubs outside of our League and the Aspray Arena was a nice ground with a decent playing surface. They are clearly ambitious and one could envisage upgrading work taking place in the coming years. They also had a good clubhouse with superb food. The chicken tikka wraps were to die for although I couldn't persuade Mick Smith to try a piece! I was impressed by the set up and saw a lot of parallels with ourselves and our ambitions to improve our facilities. The atmosphere was good, with a gate of 163, helped by a very good turnout from our supporters who congregated behind the goal with the Tring Army banner.

We were able to put out a strong side, with only the injured Jack Seaton and Ryan Sturges missing (although Sturge was at the game). We played with the same formation we used in the previous round against FC Romania with Sam Joliffe dropping back from midfield into central defence.

To say that the first half was testing would be a massive understatement as Sporting Khalsa were clearly intent on burying us under a barrage of set pieces to play to their obvious advantage in height with their big centre back and Captain Tesfa Robinson adding his considerable presence in our area at every opportunity.

We had to withstand a torrent of corners, long throws, free kicks and crosses played into our area whenever the opportunity arose. It was backs to the wall stuff at times but as our young side have proved so often this year they are made of stern stuff and they refused to buckle under the pressure.

There were some anxious moments for our supporters, especially when a corner ran along our goal line, but Captain Dan Steadman led by example and we managed to continually repel the danger by getting our heads to crosses and corners and by blocking potential shots on target. Keeper Jack Hopwood also played his part showing a safe pair of hands and clawing away a couple of dangerous balls to the far post.

We had started the game well playing some nice football before our defensive duties took over. There was a controversial moment in the 13th minute when a quick ball saw Chris Vardy breaking towards goal but he was stopped in his tracks by what appeared to be a push in the back from Marvin Nisbett. The Referee decided that it didn't warrant a penalty or red card.

But as the half wore on and we started to get the ball down and play we caused some real problems for the home defence particularly down the right through some fine combination play between Kieran Turner and Lee Stobbs, particularly in the 37th minute when the latter's cross was agonisingly inches away from being touched home by Chris Vardy and Chris Stapleton.

As the half drew to a close we started to look dangerous and from a fine move, again involving Kieran and Stobbsy, Luke Dunstan chipped a lovely ball to the far post forcing the keeper Tom Turner to tip his effort over the bar. From the corner Chris Vardy tried to flick the ball home from close range but Turner did well to put his effort over the bar.

The half ended in chaos when following yet another corner (we must have broken the Guinness Book of Records for most conceded in a half!) the ball was bobbling around dangerously in our penalty area with us unable to clear and our opponents unable to get a shot off when the Referee blew the half time whistle with less than a minute of added time played. It was a Clive Thomas moment (youngsters ask your dad about it!) and utter relief for us and disbelief for the home contingent.

After a frantic and highly intense first half we managed to survive everything the home side could throw at us and importantly we were still very much in the tie. HT Score 0-0.

There was a little flurry at the start of the second half with Chris Vardy just being unable to get his head to a Tommy Twelves cross, after some great link up play by Tommy and Stobbsy down the right, and the home centre back Tesfa Robinson sent a powerful header over from a corner.

But the intensity of the game dropped considerably as did the number of set pieces. When the home side did get an opportunity to get the ball into our box they failed to match the quality of their first half efforts and the threat was greatly diminished.

Likewise we were unable to recapture some of the breakaway moves we produced in the latter stages of the first half. Both sides had run out of ideas and neither looked like scoring, as chances dried up and both keepers went untested. This probably suited us more than our hosts as a midweek trip to Tring would not have been too inviting.

In the 74th minute we did manage to set Lee Stobbs free down the right but from a highly promising position he sent his cross/shot over the bar. But it was looking more like a mistake or moment of brilliance was needed to settle the game and unfortunately it was us who lost our concentration with 13 minutes left on the clock to give away a silly penalty which Khalsa's leading scorer David Meese converted. Score 1-0.

We tried to rouse ourselves but our opponents were not about to let us off the hook and our superb run in this years competition came to an end. There was an unfortunate end to the game when Dave O'Connor got himself sent off. DOC would be the first to agree that he lost his cool but he wasn't helped by the officials who missed two blatant fouls on him which goaded him into retaliating. FT Score 1-0.

Despite the defeat and just missing out of going to the last 16 of this prestigious national competition we can look back with some pride at reaching the 4th round for the first time in our history. We had to do it the hard way, being drawn away in every round and taking seven games to reach this stage. We can look forward to next years competition when our experience this year should help and hopefully we might even get a home draw!

It was not a good day for the South Midlands League as Berkhamsted and Sun Sports also lost to Midland Football League teams who will no doubt enjoy their 3-0 success. But many congratulations to Division 1 side Southall who beat Bradford Town 4-2 away after extra time to remain the sole South Midlands representative in the FA Vase.

We also wish Sporting Khalsa all the best for the rest of the competition, they were excellent hosts and we will watch the future draw and results with interest.

Due to our cup success we have fallen behind on our league fixtures and have a backlog of games to get through starting on Tuesday with a trip to St Margaretsbury before returning to cup action again on Saturday with a trip to Aston Clinton (KO 2pm) for a Challenge Trophy game. This game is being replayed because of a technical issue which rendered the first game invalid.

Teams:

SK: 1 Tom Turner 2 Joe Rogers 3 Jonny Haynes 4 Brad Lawley 5 Tesfa Robinson (Capt) 6 Michael Perks 7 Fabrice Kasiama (12 Mensah Kingh 64) 8 David Meese 9 Craig Bannister (14 Yusifu Ceesay 64) 10 Marvin Nisbett 11 Luke Shearer (16 Matt Martin 82). Subs not used: 15 Tim Jackson 17 Aaron Perrin.

TA: 1 Jack Hopwood 2 Tommy Twelves 3 Chris Mason (12 Jamie Warne 86) 4 Luke Dunstan 5 Dan Steadman (Capt) (14 George Brinkman 86) 6 Dave O'Connor 7 Lee Stobbs (15 George Carbery 75) 8 Sam Joliffe 9 Chris Vardy 10 Kieran Turner 11 Chris Stapleton. Subs not used: 16 Aaron Nash Baker 17 Ben Seaton.

Scorers:

SK: David Meese Pen (77)

TA: -

Crowd: 163

SK WEB: www.sportingkhalsa.com/

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REPORT TAKEN FROM THE WALSALL ADVERTISER

FOOTBALL: Sporting Khalsa within sight of Wembley as Meese penalty secures FA Vase last 16 spot By Walsall Advertiser | Posted: January 09, 2017 By Mat Danks

Dave Meese's penalty puts Sporting Khalsa into the last 16 of the FA Vase. Pictures by Chris Egan.

SPORTING KHALSA 1 TRING ATHLETIC 0
FA Vase Third Round

DAVE Meese's penalty 13 minutes from time put Sporting Khalsa just three wins away from a historic Wembley appearance in the FA Vase.
With both sides on course to make club history – the furthest either had gone in the Vase – with a win, it was little wonder the match was played in an atmosphere of tension and pressure.

Khalsa had the best of the early skirmishes and two early corners yielded opportunities for Mike Perks and Brad Lawley which they were narrowly unable to convert.

The visitors successfully shifted the momentum as the half progressed, their brand of sharp counter-attacking football – invariably led by Kieron Turner on the right flank – cutting the home side open on a number of occasions.

On 39 minutes, Khalsa keeper Tom Turner pulled off two good saves to keep the stalemate intact, first tipping over a chip from Luke Dunstan and then producing an even better stop to deny Chris Stapleton from the resulting corner.

The second half featured even fewer chances although Khalsa's Tes Robinson headed over from a Johnny Haynes corner in a rare opening.
But with the spectre of extra-time looming – and a potentially lengthy trip for a replay – the decisive moment arrived on 77 minutes.
Luke Shearer twisted and turned into the Tring box and was felled, meaning Khalsa's top scorer Meese was able to finish in style from the spot.

With the game moving into injury time, it ended on a sour note as Dave O'Connor was sent off for Tring for a horror tackle.
That sparked a 21-man coming-together which might have resulted in any number of outcomes, but a caution for Perks was the only punishment dished out.

THE FOLLOWING REPORT HAS BEEN TAKEN FROM SPORTING KHALSA'S WEBSITE


O SPORTING KHALSA VS TRING ATHLETIC
FA VASE THIRD ROUND

Sporting Khalsa 1 Dave Meese - 1 goal(s)

Tring Athletic 0

7th January 2017 | 3:00 pm Aspray Arena


Tom Turner – kept Khalsa in the game with two first-half saves.

A Dave Meese penalty on 77 minutes ultimately decided a tight cup tie, with Sporting Khalsa progressing to the last 16 of the FA Vase.
With both sides on course to make club history with a win, it was little wonder the match was played in an atmosphere of tension and pressure.

Khalsa had the best of the early skirmishes and two early corners gave opportunities for Mike Perks and Brad Lawley which they were narrowly unable to convert.

The visitors successfully shifted the momentum as the half progressed, their brand of sharp counter-attacking football – inevitably led by Kieron Turner on the right flank – cutting the home side open on a number of occasions.

On 39 minutes, Khalsa keeper Tom Turner pulled off two good saves to keep the stalemate intact, first tipping over a chip from Luke Dunstan and then producing an even better stop to deny Chris Stapleton from the resulting corner.

The second half saw the visitors seize the early initiative, a fine cross by Tommy Twelves on the right flank was just out of reach for Turner at the far post while at the other end Tes Robinson headed over from a Johnny Haynes corner.

Dave Meese – grabbed the winner from the spot

With the spectre of extra time looming – and a potentially hefty away trip for a replay – there was little in the way of clear-cut action.
That was, however, until Luke Shearer twisted and turned into the Tring box and was felled, meaning Khalsa’s top scorer Meese was able to finish in style from the spot.

With the game moving into injury time, Dave O’Connor was sent off for Tring for a horror tackle, sparking a 21-man coming together which might have resulted in any number of outcomes, but a caution for Mike Perks was the only punishment dished out.

Sporting Khalsa: Tom Turner, Joe Rogers, Johnny Haynes, Brad Lawley, Tes Robinson (Captain), Mike Perks, Fabrice Kasiama (Mensah Kinch), Dave Meese, Craig Bannister (Yusifu Ceesay), Marvin Nisbett, Luke Shearer (Matt Martin).

Man-of-the-match: Brad Lawley.
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REPORT TAKEN FROM GROUND HOPPER
ackcountrygroundhopper.blogspot.co.uk

SATURDAY, 7 JANUARY 2017
Sporting Khalsa progress in FA Vase.
⚽The Buildbase FA Vase 4th Round Proper ⚽

Sporting Khalsa 1 Tring Athletic 0

It was FA Cup 3rd round day but this NL equivalent was well worth the effort.Two extremely well-match sides put on a thoroughly exhilarating show. The visitors went for it straight from kick-off and it took Khalsa a good 10-15 minutes to get into their stride and master the visitors' ploy of lumping the ball up to their very nippy number 9.From that point on the hosts had the lions' share of the play without possessing the nous to break down an extremely well-drilled defensive unit. When the visitors ditched the hoofing and played it on the ground they had much more success and also looked more threatening. The game always looked as though one goal would settle it and so it was as Khalsa converted a penalty about 10 minutes from the end. It was probably just about the right result but you had to feel for the visitors who really do look an excellent side.

Entrance ; £3 concession
Programme ; N/a
Drink ; £1.50
Referee ; 7.5/10
Crowd ; 200 est
Entertainment value ; 7.5/10
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