High-flying Tring Athletic came through a tough seven days with maximum points from their three games, culminating in a 3-1 win at Arlesey Town on Saturday.
Their third match of the week was a challenging visit to Arlesey, who were relegated from the Southern League last season but have made a great start to life in the SSML Premier with just one league defeat putting them in third place in the table, just behind Tring in second spot.
Athletic produced their best performance of the season so far and a scintillating display of attacking play with three goals from Ashton Campbell that simply blew away their hosts.
A beaming boss Ian Richardson said afterwards: “This was an excellent performance from the boys especially in the first-half when we played some excellent stuff.
“I am really pleased for Ashton with his first hat-trick for the club.”
The only blot was a dubious penalty awarded to Arlesey for hand ball which gave the hosts a slim hope of redemption but they were unable to make any impression against the resilient Tring defence, which has kept five clean sheets so far.
The visitors got off to a dream start when Campbell converted a superb cross from Alex Campana in the fourth minute.
After several good chances a second goal looked on the cards and arrived on 19 minutes. Campana was again the instigator with a whipped cross that Campbell tucked away with a deft header.
Athletic made it 3-0 four minutes after half-time. Joe Fitzgerald, who worked tirelessly down the right all game, released Campbell with a fine defence-splitting pass and centre forward Campbell coolly rounded the keeper to slot the ball into an empty net. It was his 11th goal of the season from 13 games.
Arlesey’s penalty came on 59 minutes when the ball bounced up and accidently hit Dave O’Connor’s elbow. Ash Fuller dispatched the spot kick but Tring were then able to see out the game.
It was Athletic’s eighth consecutive win and cemented their second place in the table, a point behind Biggleswade FC. They have also opened up a 10-point gap over Arlesey.
The win followed a 2-0 victory at Potton United in the league last Tuesday (O’Connor, 48; Kieran Turner, 70) and a 1-0 win over the same opponents the previous Saturday.
Athletic were in action again last night (Tuesday) as the Gazette was going to press when they hosted Stotfold in the Premier Division Cup but they are without a game this Saturday.