Tring go third with comfortable win over struggling Ampthill
Tring Athletic moved up to fourth place in the SSML Premier Division table with a 2-0 victory at Ampthill Town – their third league win in the space of seven days.
Manager Julian Robinson made just one change from Tuesday’s 6-1 thrashing of Hoddesdon Town, with Ollie Butler coming in for Paul Jeffrey.
Ampthill, who finished runners-up last season, were sitting bottom of the table after losing the whole of last season’s successful team and manager to Leighton Town of the Southern League.
The game itself was always going to be a bit of an anticlimax after Tuesday’s excellent win over Hoddesdon, and it took Athletic 15 minutes to settle down and create some clear cut-chances.
Stewart King’s looping header from a right wing cross went just wide, before a long range shot from Kevin McManus was deflected wide.
From the resulting corner, captain Chris Salmon had a shot cleared off the line, with the ball bobbling about before falling to Salmon again. This time his bullet shot flew over off an Ampthill defender.
Athletic were dominating play but looking a bit lacklustre at times, and had a bit of a scare after 29 minutes when keeper Matt Evans had to come out quickly to smother a shot from Tremayne Charles.
This seemed to wake Athletic up with Trevor Gibbs and Butler both going close, before Tring’s opening goal finally arrived after 43 minutes.
Superb work from Gibbs in the middle of the park saw him slot a fine pass into the path of Chris Vardy, who made no mistake from 12 yards out.
Athletic started the second half a bit slowly and were nearly caught out in the 50th minute; Evans getting down well to save at the near post from Charles.
After this, Athletic went on to dominate the rest of the half without creating too many chances.
But they eventually managed to double their lead after 81 minutes, when Taylor Collins played the ball inside to Greg Deer who was fouled just as he teed up a shot.
Gibbs stepped up to smash the resulting penalty into the net to make the score 2-0 to the visitors.
The last 10 minutes were mostly spent in Ampthill’s penalty area, with Athletic looking for more goals.
A third should have arrived in injury time when Ampthill substitute Daniel Olaloran handled in the box. Gibbs again stepped up but this time his spot kick was well saved by Tom Gowans in the home goal.