Although I have been feeling unduly optimistic recently, I never completely lost touch with reality. I always knew that Birmingham City would lose sometime. So Saturday’s loss to Hull didn’t plunge me into the deepest gloom. We won four and then we lost one; it’s a setback not a tragedy. Other teams lost too.
Sporting Khalsa was one of the losers yesterday but the club made a lot of friends. It was the lowest ranked club left in the FA Cup qualifying rounds and lost 1-3 to FC United of Manchester. The attendance when Khalsa played Brocton in the Midland League Premier Division last Tuesday was 87. The attendance at Saturday’s cup game was 2,252 as FCUM has good away support.
Here are some quotes and links if you would like to read more of their remarkable story.
Sporting Khalsa aiming to reach first round
Sporting Khalsa emerged from a group of a dozen Sikh lads who would meet on Willenhall Memorial Park for a kickabout at weekends…
Decisions now, as they always have, are achieved through discussion and consensus, sometimes in the car as they travel to away games.
Sporting Khalsa’s architects were Asian. Their official website calls them a semi-professional Asian club. But it has always been open to all, regardless of religion, skin colour and gender …
The club have ambitions of climbing higher up the football pyramid, but there is also a conflict about how progress could permanently alter the identity of the club …
Once you go into the Football League, it becomes a business. I don’t know whether we want that.
The founders of the club have never fallen out. That only happens if there is money involved. As it is, everyone is treated equally.”
Khalsa 1 FC United 3 – Report and pictures
Ian Rowe’s men came close, but ultimately were beaten by an FC United side who were clinical in front of goal.
Thank you to everyone at Sporting Kalsa
Naturally, we are really chuffed to have won our game today 3-1 and to be in the first round proper of the FA Cup for the second time in our short history.
However, we would like to take a moment to publicly thank today’s opponents, Sporting Khalsa, for making this such an occasion…
We share a common approach and ethos in the game. This was borne out by Sporting Khalsa agreeing with our own view on the BBC’s request to move the kick off of our tie – neither club wished to inconvenience supporters and agreed to stick with 3pm.
In fact, when asked on Twitter whether we should compensate them for “potential loss of revenue and publicity”, Sporting Khalsa gave a fantastic response: “We weren’t interested – we’re non-league. We play Saturdays at 3pm.”
The day after the night before
At Sporting Khalsa our view is that what goes on on the pitch is down to players and staff, but what’s most important are the thing that keep the game alive, the supporters. That a lot of work went into organising the big day is no secret and there were many, many hours of volunteering graft that went into making the day the success it was…
if you’re local and came to see the match and enjoyed yourself, don’t be a stranger! The food and drink is a standard and on a normal day the 442 Bar and Lounge is open, so keep an eye on our twitter and website. We’re actually at home on Tuesday night in another cup game. Go and have a look at our fixtures …
But – and, in life there’s always a but, isn’t there? – we’re conscious of the fact that a small number of local troublemakers seemed determined to spoil the day for everyone. We’re pretty confident these people had to look up ‘Noose Lane’ on the school computer during the week in order to find us. Let’s be absolutely crystal clear, these people are nothing to do with Sporting Khalsa, they’re nothing to do with non-league football and are sadly just something society has to tolerate, whether we like it or not. You would also think that if you go looking for fights, the pre-requisite is that you’re good at fighting. It seems not. We’ve co-operated with our friends at the police, they’re happy with the arrangements we put in place and will continue to co-operate. We desperately hope the actions of a few toe-rags didn’t take any enjoyment from FC United or any of the neutrals.