Tring Athletic travelled to Colney Heath on Saturday for the last league match of the season, knowing a win would guarantee Athletic fifth place in the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division.
The fifth-place achievement would also be the second highest league finish in the club’s history.
Two second-half goals from James Butler and top scorer Chris Vardy did just that in a tight 2-1 win against a young and spirited Colney Heath side.
Tring started the game on the front foot with Kieran Turner, Luke Dunstan and Vardy all linking well down the left, but it was a cross from right-back Tommy Twelves that gave Athletic a real chance, Ollie Butler volleying over from Dunstan’s knockdown.
Stuart Steadman then crossed for Vardy, his header easily saved by former Tring keeper Craig Garrett in the Colney goal.
The hosts then started to get a foothold in the game, Geraldis shooting wide from a good through ball.
Kieran Turner then hit a shot wide for Tring and just before half-time Geraldis again missed for Colney, this time heading over a good chance to leave it 0-0 at the break.
The second-half started very poorly, with both sides finding the windy conditions difficult. Colney created the first chance, but Hopwood in the Tring goal saved smartly with his legs.
The turning point arrived in the 60th minute with Chris Stapleton coming on to replace Carberry. Just two minutes later a Turner corner was met by Butler who towered above his marker and his header perfectly nestled in the corner of the net.
Seven minutes later Stapleton was fouled on the edge of the area and his free-kick was only parried to Vardy, whose header looped over Garrett to give Tring a 2-0 lead.
Colney reduced the deficit after a Hopwood keeping error but Tring managed to see out the remainder of the game without too many problems.
Athletic were due to be in action again last night (Tuesday) in the semi-final of the St Mary’s Cup against Leverstock Green.