High-flying Tring Athletic were without a game on Saturday, but continued their winning run in midweek when beating Stotfold 2-1 at home in the second round of the Dudley Latham Memorial Premier Division Cup.
The victory was Tring’s ninth in a row and kept their 11-game unbeaten streak alive.
With a few players missing on Tuesday night, Tring made a few changes to the starting line-up but that didn’t appear to affect the hosts as they took a two-goal lead.
Young Billie Busari crashed home a superb cross from Chris Vardy at the far post in the 17th minute to open the scoring.
Striker Ashton Campbell then continued his excellent scoring form with a classy finish after breaking through the opposition defence after 37 minutes.
Athletic had other chances to score and Alex Campana cracked a thunderous shot against the underside of the bar, but the two-goal advantage at half-time put Tring in a commanding position.
The home side hit the bar again soon after the re-start with a header from Busari but they could not find the killer third goal.
The visitors have had a torrid time in the SSML Premier Division this season and are winless after nine games, but they have recently appointed a new management team and signed some new players, so did not quite look like the struggling side that their record suggests.
They played some good football and looked lively, but didn’t trouble Connor Sansom unduly in the Athletic goal until just before the hour mark when the visitors won a penalty which Ryan Young converted.
This injected some new life into Stotfold and Sansom had to pull off a great save from centre back Tommy Carroll.
But Athletic defended well and restricted Stotfold to any further clear chances, despite losing their key defender Dave O’Connor to a gashed head and having to see out the game with no recognised centre halves.
Athletic had further opportunities to make the game safe, with Busari missing a penalty and Kieran Turner hitting the woodwork but they ran out deserved winners.
Credit went to Stotfold who played well and kept their hosts on their toes to the end.
In the next round Athletic will visit Cockfosters, who beat North Greenford United 2-0 on the same night.
Tring are due to travel to Hitchin Town tonight (Wednesday) in the Herts Senior Cup, then entertain Edgware Town at home this Saturday in a SSML Premier Division clash.