Tring Athletic’s dismal run of league results continued on Saturday with a disappointing 3-2 home defeat against high-flying Harpenden Town which saw Tring drop into the bottom two places in the table.
At the start of play, 15 places and 21 points separated the two teams but again it was poor decision-making by Athletic that made the difference, gifting two goals to Town which proved to be too big a hurdle to overcome.
Athletic started well and should have been ahead within a minute when Mark Riddick’s shot from a corner was blocked on the line and Jack Sunderland slipped at the crucial moment.
Home fans would have been encouraged by their team’s positive play but in the 17th minute Tring shot themselves in the foot when what should have been a routine clearance turned into an own goal following a misunderstanding between two home players.
The visitors doubled their lead seven minutes later with a fine shot from the edge of the area.
Facing an uphill struggle, Tring showed some mettle to reduce the deficit in the 27th minute when Luke Dunstan’s brilliant pass dissected the Harpenden defence and full-back Tommy Twelves finished smartly.
Early in the second-half George Carbery was denied a goal by a superb tackle from a Harpenden defender and in the 55th minute Athletic had a great chance to equalise. The ball bobbled in the area and shots where blocked, before Luke Dunstan’s effort hit the post.
Further half-chances followed but again Tring were victims of their own carelessness midway through the half when they lost the ball in midfield and allowed Town to run through and score.
The hosts kept going and were rewarded with two minutes left when Dunstan scored from close range.
A lot of added time was played but Tring were unable to find the leveller.
Athletic were due to host Oxhey Jets in the Herts Senior Challenge Cup last night (Tuesday) and then have an important league fixture this Saturday when entertaining fellow strugglers St Margaretsbury in a must-win for both clubs.