Nagra’s penalty-corner strike keeps Khalsa on the title trail

David Harris scored in the first half at Belper to get Khalsa back in the game. Picture: Jass Lall

David Harris scored in the first half at Belper to get Khalsa back in the game. Picture: Jass Lall

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A late Aaron Nagra penalty-corner strike secured Khalsa a crucial 3-2 win at Midlands Premier promotion rivals Belper.

Play got under-way in torrential rain, with the hosts opening the scoring inside the first four minutes.

Khalsa tried to match the tempo set by their hosts and were caught on the break to go 2-0 down.

Jas Singh was denied by a reflex save as Khalsa looked for a response while Ben Scott was denied an opener by a clearance off the line.

With Belper defending deep, Khalsa found space limited.

However, Nagra’s sweeping pass found Amritpal Atwal in the circle and he cleverly deflected it to Stuart Gooderham, who drew the keeper for David Harris to slot home.

Khalsa were more attacking after the break but their fightback was hampered when they were reduced to nine men by two yellow cards.

However, fine possession hockey rewarded them with a penalty corner and Nagra stepped up to draw them level with ten minutes remaining.

Belper were denied a third by a fine save from Elliot Rider while a penalty corner was cleared off the line.

And, with time running out and Khalsa restored to full strength, Gooderham’s intelligence inside the circle won a penalty corner which Nagra dispatched to seal the three points.

A youthful Khalsa 2nds continued their good form with a 2-0 win over Barford Tigers, Amarpal Singh Khehra and Darshane Singh Thiara with the goals.

A depleted third string went down 6-0 at Coalville, while the 4ths battled to a 3-1 defeat at home to Old Halesonians after playing the entire game with only nine men.

Last year’s Masters Over-40s finalist Khalsa were made to wrk hard to reach the third round of this season’s competition by visitors Cannock.

Khalsa went one down inside the first five minutes before Daljinder Singh Hayer equalised and the teams went in at the break locked together at 2-2, with Kulwinder Singh Jutla having scored Khalsa’s second.

Cannock regained the lead early in second half but a three goals in ten minutes from Dharminder Singh swung the tie Khalsa’s way.

Khlasa wasted a number of one-on-ones to make the game safe and Cannock pulled it back to 5-4 with ten minutes left, but the hosts hung on.

Khalsa have been drawn away to Brooklands MU in the third round, with the tie to be played on SundayDecember 6.

Khalsa Over-60s slipped out of their Masters’ competition with a 3-1 defeat at Beds, Lincs and Northamptonshire.

Two early goals put Khalsa on the back foot and despite a German Singh strike, the hosts scored a third to seal their progress.