Struggling Tring Athletic sent a patched-up side to Biggleswade United on Saturday more in hope than expectation and a goal in each half meant Tring left Second Meadow pointless – something that had only happened twice before in the past 20 years.
Athletic’s FA Vase exploits now seem a distant memory and they are struggling to get the league wins they desperately need to move clear from the SSML Premier danger zone, having collected just six points from their past seven outings. They now lie in 16th (out of 21) with just 15 games in the next seven weeks to go.
Injuries are now hampering them as they try to make up ground and they have fallen behind with their fixtures because of the extended FA Vase run. That means two matches in as many days, starting tonight (Tuesday).
On Saturday they faced a tough trip to eighth-placed Biggleswade, who had lost only one of their previous eight home clashes.
The hosts dominated possession although Tring defended well, restricting United to few moments where they could test teenage keeper Lewis Todd.
A lapse in concentration cost Athletic dear in the 17th minute when they failed to deal with a long ball and United’s leading scorer Abraham Eze had a simple finish.
After that set-back Tring knew it would be tough to level as they have found scoring hard, finding the net just 39 times in 25 league encounters with only three teams in the league having a worse record.
Tring made little progress against the home defence with Chris Vardy’s shot early in the game, which forced the United keeper into a low save, being their best effort in the first-half.
Athletic’s best scoring chances came early in the second period when Max Hercules forced a good save from Ryan Haggerty and the resulting corner went close when James Butler was unlucky to see his header saved on the line by Haggerty.
Tring did come into it but rarely threatened an equaliser although Joe Fitzgerald made a tremendous run before missing the target.
United looked the more likely and with a minute to go they wrapped up the game when sub Alhaki Kabba converted to make it 2-0 for United’s first ever league double over Athletic.
Fortunately for Tring, none of the teams below them picked up points on Saturday so they remain six points ahead of bottom side Stotfold.
Midtable Wembley were due to be visitors last night (Tuesday) before hosting Chipperfield in the St Mary’s Cup tomorrow (Wednesday).
They then travel to ninth-ranked Hoddesdon Town this Saturday.