Hard-earned victory moves Athletic to summit of league
Four journeys to Biggleswade last term brought nothing but disappointment for Tring Athletic, so Saturday’s 1-0 away victory over Biggleswade United was sweet indeed.
It also pushed Tring to the top of the early SSML Premier table after six games.
The strength of Tring’s squad was evident as the win arrived despite the absence of three key players.
They also had to make a change before the half-hour when Chris Vardy exited due to injury, yet there was no drop off in Athletic’s play.
There were solid performances all around the pitch but Jay Lovell deserved particular credit for marshalling a re-shuffled back-line.
Goal-scorer Louie Collier put in a superb 70 minutes on his first start for Athletic, while Oran Swales terrorised the Biggleswade defence with his skills and trickery.
The hosts felt they were a tad unfortunate to be a goal down at half-time, but the Tring faithful felt the visitors dominated and could have led by more. Several chances went begging, two for Charncey Dash and two for Swales, while a Frazier John goal was disallowed for off-side.
By contrast, Biggleswade had an early chance that went off-target and little else.
Tring broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute with a fine team goal. A sweeping attack initiated by keeper Charlie Mann had the ball in the back of the net in just four moves and five seconds. It culminated in a great cross from Swales that was smashed into the net by the on-rushing Collier.
In the second-half Tring continued to create opportunities as they vied to extend the lead.
Dash scuffed a shot, Collier shot just wide and United’s keeper Emanuel Olajide saved well from a bullet header from Lovell from six yards.
The Tring back-five remained solid and well organised to the end. Although a one-goal lead is always precarious, Athletic were able to see the game out without undue concern.
The visitors nearly netted a second in the third minute of stoppage time when Luke Dunstan got through on goal to force another exceptional save from Olajide.
Due to other teams playing in the FA Vase, Tring moved to the top of the table, having successfully taken maximum points from three away games in succession.
Next up for Tring is the visit of bottom-but-two side Potton United this Saturday.g
Fellow SSML Premier side Levy Green, who are in 14th place in the table, had the weekend off.
This Saturday it will be their turn to play seventh-ranked Biggleswade United when they visit Green’s Pancake Lane home.