Tring when you're winning! Cup glory for Athletic as Collins doubles up
Tring Athletic lifted the St Marys Cup for the sixth time on Monday night as two quickfire goals from Taylor Collins earned a 2-0 victory over fellow South Midlands side Sun Sports at Vauxhall Road.
Sun had knocked out Southern League champions Kings Langley in the semi-finals and finished just below Athletic in the Premier Division table, with both their league games ending in 1-1 draws.
A tight game was expected, and there was little to choose between the two sides in the opening 45 minutes.
Kieran Turner went the closest for Athletic, hitting the side netting after a deep cross from Lee Stobbs picked him out at the far post, before he had a shot saved by the keeper with a defender clearing the ball off the line.
Collins also saw a good shot go just wide of the post and a Stobbs effort was deflected off for a corner, but Sun came closest to breaking the deadlock.
Tring keeper Jack Hopwood had to be quick off his line to make a smart block from Brima Johnson, before Ashley Lewis saw his terrific shot hit the Athletic woodwork.
There were few chances of note at the start of the second half until Athletic were awarded a free-kick on the left hand edge of the Sun penalty area in the 58th minute.
It was the perfect angle for Collins’ left foot and he did not disappoint as he curled the ball beyond the keeper into the top right corner to give Athletic the lead.
Four minutes later, Collins struck again. Latching on to a pass down the inside left channel, he smacked a shot across the keeper and in off the far post.
Sun rallied and pressed forward, but were constantly thwarted by an Athletic defence superbly marshalled by skipper and man of the match Dan Steadman.
With Sun pushing upfield, Athletic had chances to put the game to bed, with Collins, Jay Caines and Chris Stapleton all spurning presentable opportunities, but in the end Tring ran out comfortable two-goal winners to lift the trophy.
Athletic’s season is not quite over yet – they still have the Herts Charity Shield final to play on Tuesday, May 17 at the Herts County ground, where they will face either Hadley or Harpenden Town.
Tring Athletic: 1 Jack Hopwood, 2 Stuart Stedman, 3 Chris Mason, 4 Luke Dunstan, 5 Dan Steadman, (c), 6 Dave O’Connor, 7 Lee Stobbs, 8 Sam Joliffe, 9 Taylor Collins (17 Jay Caines 79), 10 Kieran Turner (16 Ryan Sturges 81), 11 Ben Seaton (12 Chris Stapleton 59). Subs not used: 14 Ryan McMahon and 15 George Tomlin.