Tring up to 10th following back-to-back wins
Tring Athletic bounced back from their disappointing defeat in the FA Vase with back-to-back league victories that takes them up to 10th in the South Midlands Premier Division.
On Tuesday, they produced a terrific performance in wet and windy conditions to win 1-0 at Stotfold thanks to a fine individual goal from leading scorer Chris Vardy.
Athletic then backed that up with a 2-1 victory at home to bottom side Ampthill Town on Saturday. The margin of victory should have been much greater after Tring struck the woodwork three times and spurned numerous other opportunities.
The visitors finished runners-up in the league last season but came into the game propping up the table after a disastrous start to the season, although there have been recent signs of improvement, including a fine 3-1 win over Berkhamsted.
A depleted Athletic side made a confident start with Kieran Turner reveling in an advanced midfield role, first having a shot blocked and then forcing the goalkeeper into a diving save following a good run.
But it was another of Athletic’s bright youngsters who was instrumental the first goal in the 11th minute. Taylor Collins burst down the left wing and whipped over a superb cross which the retreating centre back Ben Butler put past his own ‘keeper.
Ampthill competed well but they struggled to pose much of a threat, while by contrast, Tring were constantly causing the away side problems with the visiting goalkeeper saving well from Collins.
Turner was in the thick of Athletic’s best moves, having a goal disallowed for offside then getting his head to a super cross from Luke Dunstan which was easily saved before Sam Joliffe smashed the post with a 30-yard effort.
The home side were unable to extend their advantage prior to half-time, however, and their wastefulness was punished by Ampthill three minutes after the restart when captain Sheldon Washington’s great run down the right was finished off with a fine shot into the far corner to bring his side level.
Despite this setback, a young Tring side continued to attack with Collins hitting the post and then shooting inches wide before Turner twice beat the offside trap but he was denied by a combination of the crossbar and the goalkeeper.
Athletic finally bagged a deserved winner, though, when Turner slotted home.
Tring will now be tested over the Christmas period as they face four teams above them, starting with a visit to St Margaretsbury last night (Tuesday) for a Challenge Trophy game before they visit league leaders Kings Langley on Saturday.