With an hour gone and Tring Athletic failing to put away their chances against Oxhey Jets on Saturday, the Tring boss Kevin Christou’s decision to shake things up produced spectacular and quick results.
Within 26 minutes his three substitutes had scored twice and set-up another goal, with a late goal from the visitors making the final score 3-1 to hosts Tring.
Athletic’s 43rd encounter against their rivals from Watford was played in weather more suitable for sunbathing near the sea, but the officials sensibly allowed numerous water breaks during the game.
Despite the hot conditions both teams produced some good football played at a high tempo.
After a fairly even start to the game the home side started to take control with Oxhey’s Matt Evans the busier of the two keepers, tipping a shot from Mulik Rickman over the bar, then punching clear a header from Luke Dunstan, while a lovely chip from Max Mitchell drifted tantalisingly across goal just out of reach of his colleagues.
At the break it was scoreless, with Athletic hoping that the opportunities they missed would not come back to haunt them.
Christou then rang the changes and within three minutes of coming off the bench in the 65th minute Oran Swales opening the scoring and his account with the club, latching onto a super pass down the inside right channel from Ben Johnson to slip the ball past the keeper.
Athletic’s lead was doubled within four minutes when another sub, Charncey Dash, got in on the action when a fine pass from Jay Lovell sent him away down the right and his first-time cross was smashed home at the far post by Joe Naylor for his third goal of the season.
Tring were then on a roll and in the 82nd minute they made it 3-0 when sub Frazer John, who was making his debut, seized on the ball after the Jets keeper had made a good save from Dunstan’s fierce shot, cleverly going past a defender and coolly slotting the ball into the far corner.
Oxhey did get some consolation when Andre Lopes pulled a goal back in the 88th minute but by then the game was over.
It was a good result for an Athletic side that is still finding their feet after a big change in personnel over the summer off-season.
After just three games Tring find themselves in a steady seventh place in the SSMl Premier standings, while three clubs above them have played a game extra.
Athletic travel to fourth-ranked Edgware Town this Saturday.