Tring Athletic dented Hoddesdon Town’s SSML Premier Division title hopes with a hard fought 1-1 draw at Lowfield on Saturday.
Tring started on the front foot and were rewarded in the sixth minute when Hoddesdon failed to deal with Sam Joliffe’s free-kick and Jack Seaton pounced to score from close range.
The home side were slow to get into their stride but they gradually started to see more of the ball. Leading scorer Mark Summers saw his cross was cut out by Tring keeper Jack Hopwood, and Ollie Sharman got on the end of a free-kick but headed the ball away from goal.
Athletic were sharp on the counter-attack and went close to doubling their lead in the 22nd minute when Chris Stapleton’s shot was superbly saved by keeper Lee Robinson.
The home side presented a challenge from set pieces and it was no surprise that their equaliser in the 33rd minute came from this source as defender Phil Lowen headed in at the far post.
In the run up to half-time Hoddesdon stepped up the pressure but Athletic refused to fold and reached the interval still level.
After the break, Chris Stapleton sent a lob over the bar and defender Ollie Sharman saw his shot drift just wide of the far post but neither keeper was tested.
With six minutes to go Tring had a great chance to grab a win when the referee awarded a penalty after Luke Dunstan was felled, but the home keeper made a super save from Chris Stapleton.
In the last few minutes Hoddesdon threw players forward for some set pieces but Athletic were able to clear their lines and the game ended all square.
This was a tough physical battle and Athletic stood their ground and can feel satisfied at coming away with a draw.
On Tuesday Athletic travel to Broxbourne Borough then entertain Welwyn Garden City on Saturday.