Dogged Leek deny Khalsa to guarantee Conference North hockey next season

Khalsa failed to take advantage of a short-handed Leek, who secured the point they needed to preserve their National League status.

A hot day made it difficult for both teams to play a high intensity game, with Leek creating the first chance from a penalty corner. However, Elliot Rider made a superb save to deny the forward.

Khalsa replied with a short corner of their own, but put the ball wide.

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With Ben Stephenson and Jo Colantonio linking up well on the flanks along with Amritpal Atwal and Jack Wells, Khalsa were looking dangerous and Leek were reduced to nine men following two yellow cards in quick succession.

However, Khalsa were unable to capitalise on their two-man advantage as Leek’s experienced backline slowed play down with some simple passes and long balls into the corners.

After the interval, Khalsa went agonisingly close to an opener but the faintest of touches from the Leek defender steered the ball wide of the post.

Another short corner for Khalsa was saved by the Leek keeper and Dave Harris was unlucky not to latch on to the rebound.

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Leek forced Rider into action again, with his quick reactions allowing Jay Nagra to clear his lines and send Gurminder Ghattaura through on goal at the other end, but an excellent last-ditch tackle forced him to put the ball wide.

Khalsa 2nds have been crowned champions of Midlands One with two games to spare following a 2-1 win at Melton.

Navdeep Hayer scored both their goals, with Alastair McQuillan replying for the hosts.

Khalsa, who have lost just one game all season, will confirm promotion for second-placed Warwick University if they deny Nottingham University victory in one of their two outstanding fixtures.

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