Tring denied at death as old boys come back to haunt

Football stock image
Football stock image

Tring Athletic had to settle for a share of the spoils after a thrilling 3-3 draw at home with Oxhey Jets on Saturday but felt like they should have got more as the visitors levelled two minutes into added time.

Despite the loss of two valuable points in the SSML Premier title race, Tring will still move up one place to second if they win their game in hand.

Tring showed resolve to come from behind twice and then took the lead midway through the second-half, but will feel disappointed as they were the better side for much of the game.

They failed to press home their advantage and were denied by the dreaded curse of returning old boys as ex-Athletic players Kyle Johnson and keeper Matt Evans played a big part in Oxhey getting a point, with the former scoring one and setting up the late equaliser and the latter pulling off a string of super saves.

Tring were building up a head of steam when Oxhey scored against the run of play on 32 minutes. Johnson, who scored four for Athletic early this term, collected a cross then did well to find space and fire past Connor Sansom.

The Jets’ lead was short-lived as Tring’s pressure finally told in the 37th minute when Jack Humphrey headed home his opening goal for the club to level the scores at 1-1.

Two minutes into first-half injury time Jets won their first corner and hit a sucker punch when Scott Bonner headed home to send his team into the break with a 2-1 edge.

Athletic came out for the second period in determined mood as they took the game to the visitors and put them under periods of pressure.

Evans made some great saves from Ashton Campbell and Jon Clements but an equaliser was coming and it arrived in the 55th minute.

Clements, who has been a terrific signing for Tring, worked hard to retain the ball before slipping a pass to James Verney, who instantly clipped a lovely dipping shot over Evans to make it 2-2. It was a superb strike from the youngster and took his tally to five goals from seven games.

Tring took went 3-3 ahead in the 70th minute when the visitors failed to clear and from outside the area Campbell lofted a superb left-footed shot past the keeper for his 22nd goal of the season.

However the jets had a sting in the tail and two minutes into added time Sansom pushed away a shot from Johnson but Sean Giordmania managed to tuck away the loose ball from a tight angle to snatch a fortuitous draw.

This Saturday Tring travel to Wembley.