Hadley 2 Tring Athletic 2
A brace of goals from Mickey Swaysland on his Tring debut was only enough to earn a point after a resurgent Hadley came back twice to earn a deserved draw.
A number of absences forced manager Julian Robinson into a tactical reshuffle with debutants Swaysland and Martin Griggs partnering each other in attack.
Griggs nearly made a dream start to his Tring career, but his header from David Whicker’s free-kick in the eighth minute was kept out by a fine save from Hadley keeper Russell Garland.
The game was fast flowing and even and it was a surprise that the opening goal did not arrive until five minutes before half-time.
Athletic’s new front pair combined well, with Swaysland heading home Griggs’ pin-point delivery.
However, the lead lasted less than a minute after a terrible blunder from the normally reliable Tring back four presented the home side with an equaliser.
A mis-placed pass across the pitch was picked up by Nick Chrysanthou who gratefully fired home to restore parity.
Hadley had a good chance to take the lead seven minutes after the break, but Chrysanthou slipped his shot wide after a mazy run.
Tring responded well, though, and the visitors felt they should have been awarded a penalty when Tony Fields’ shot appeared to strike the raised arms of a Hadley defender.
To the dismay of the Athletic players, however, the match officials waved away the appeals.
Athletic looked dangerous from corners and they nearly went in front again, but Garland tipped Graham Hall’s shot over the bar.
The visitors only had to wait another two minutes to net their second, though, as Fields teed up Swaysland to stab home from close range.
To their credit, Hadley responded well to going behind and Tring keeper Mike Underwood was forced into a good stop from Dominico Petrucci.
The hosts could sense an equaliser, and it duly arrived in the 70th minute.
Chrysanthou released Roberto Quattromini down the right and his cross was converted by Petrucci to salvage a point for his side.