Football round-up: National glory for walking football side, Tring stay top, while Green undone by bad luck

Hemel Hempstead Town's over-50s walking football side.
Hemel Hempstead Town's over-50s walking football side.

Tring Athletic are five points clear at the top of the SSML Premier after beating fourth-ranked Eynesbury Rovers 2-0 at home on Saturday.

Charlie Mann excelled between the sticks for Tring and the defence was solid as Athletic maintained their grip on the summit after ten games.

Two goals in a five-minute spell on 70 minutes saw Jacob Carter and Max Mitchell net the all-important strikes.

Tring were due to visit London Colney last night (Tuesday) as the Gazette was going to press, then host Eastern Counties premier side Woodbridge Town in the FA Vase first round this Saturday.

Fellow SSML Premier side Leverstock Green were undone by an unfortunate own goal on Saturday as they went down 1-0 at home to seventh-ranked Oxhey Jets.

The Green’s two-match winning run came to an end against a Jets side containing five former Levy players.

Leverstock defended well in the main, but created few chances and were beaten by a single second-half goal.

The visitors made a substitution in the 61st minute, bringing on attacking player Nick Kerley for defender Scott Bonner, and that proved to be a turning point as two minutes’ later a ball forward found Kerley, who put a low ball across goal which was deflected into his own net by the unlucky John Smith.

The defeat leaves Levy in 13th in the standings after eight games, but Levy have games in hand over many of the teams around them.

The Green will be back home at Pancake Lane this Saturday when they entertain 16th-ranked Wembley.

Hemel Hempstead Town’s over-50s walking football side have finished in the top three in the country.

Having won the south east regional final for the second consecutive year, this time beating Bounds Green 6-3, Hemel performed exceptionally well at the national finals held at Worcester University on Sunday, September 29.

In their group, they beat north-west champions Manchester City 1-0, narrowly lost to reigning holders Barnsley 1-0, and beat southern champions Hearne Bay 2-0 to qualify for the semi-finals.

They were beaten by eventual winners Pelé’s Pearls, of Birmingham, the People’s FA Cup holders and recent victors of the over-50s walking football World Cup.

Striker Jim Holmes led the way with all three of Hemel’s goals, while keeper Tony Smith was outstanding.

The midfield of Mark Thompson, Nigel Morrison and Andy Turner worked tirelessly and captain Mike Parkes led the defence with Steve Hatchett and Dave Woolfrey.