Tring Athletic had to endure periods of pressure during the opening 45 minutes of this away fixture at Hoddesdon Town but they refused to buckle and showed great character to raise their game in the second half and run out convincing 3-1 winners.
On a surprisingly dry and bumpy pitch Athletic made a lightning start, scoring after only 35 seconds through Luke Dunstan.
Undeterred by this early set back Hoddesdon came back strongly with Dan Odamo heading a corner wide and Dominique Njoya shooting just beyond the far post.
The home side were dominating play but Athletic are not easily ruffled and they put up a spirited defence. Eventually just past the half hour mark the pressure told and Dan Odamo, who was making his debut, scored from close range.
But as the first half drew to a close Athletic roused themselves again with Chris Vardy hitting the side netting from a tight angle after latching onto a through ball and going round the keeper. Then Sam Joliffe fizzed in a shot that was superbly saved by the keeper at the foot of the post.
After a half in which Hoddesdon had been in the ascendency Athletic went in for their break on level terms and the knowledge that they generally perform much better in the second half of games.
The visitors were dealt a blow in the 57th minute when keeper Mark Richardson got injured with defender James Butler taking his place between the sticks and Jack Sunderland coming off the bench.
But any thoughts that Hoddesdon may have had of taking advantage of this situation were quickly dispelled as Athletic retook the lead two minutes later through George Carbery.
Athletic extended their lead further in the 68th minute when Sam Joliffe finished off a fine move by smashing the ball in off the underside of the bar. With the visitors in control the opposition were unable to test the stand in keeper and Athletic saw out the game without any trouble.
This victory was an indication of the progress Athletic have made this season which has turned them into a difficult team to beat, being able to defend strongly and have the quality to win games.
Last Tuesday Tring beat Colney Heath 4-3 on penalties after the game finished 1-1 in normal time to progress through to Semi Final of the Herts Charity Shield . Athletic’s goal came from new signing Callum Gregory .
On Tuesday Athletic entertain St Margaretsbury then on Saturday they travel to Oxhey Jets, both in the SSML Premier.
HT: 1 Mike Peirce 2 Ross Clemo 3 Dominique Njoya 4 Jason Brown 5 Dan Odamo 6 Louis Rose 7 Joss Lillis (12 Kardam Campbell 61) 8 Charlie Edwards 9 Jordan Watson 10 Connor Scully (14 Reece Hackney 82) 11 Fraser John (15 Tom Cowell 69). Sub not used: 16 Bradley Fraser.
TA: 1 Mark Richardson (12 Jack Sunderland 57) 2 Tommy Twelves 3 Jamie Warne 4 Luke Dunstan 5 Dan Steadman (Capt) 6 James Butler 7 Ryan Sturges (15 James Banfield 85) 8 Sam Joliffe 9 Chris Vardy 10 George Carbery 11 Jack Seaton. Subs not used: 14 Callum Gregory 16 Stuart Stedman.
HT: Dan Odamo (31)
TA: Luke Dunstan (1), George Carbery (59), Sam Joliffe (68)