Lee Stobbs bagged a stoppage time winner for Tring Athletic in Saturday’s Dacorum derby clash with Leverstock Green at The Grass Roots Stadium.
Green went into the game under the charge of Tim O’Sullivan and Paul Hunt, having parted company with first team manager Paul Faulkner the previous day.
It was a wet and windy afternoon, and Leverstock had the elements and the slope in their favour in the first half. With just over a minute played Jack Gilmartin hit a long-range effort which didn’t clear the bar by much.
In the sixth minute Curtis Donaldson made a determined run into the box and sent in a cross which went just over the head of Chinua Phinn-Archer.
Leverstock continued to have much the better of things, and eventually took a deserved lead in the 24th minute.
Gavin Smith’s ball into the box found Chris Blunden, who went down under a challenge, but before anyone had time to look at the referee, Louis Bircham swept home a low shot past the unsighted Matt Evans.
Three minutes later the ball was given away to Blunden, whose shot was parried by Evans, but there was nobody there to take advantage of the loose ball.
Tring had a couple of chances midway through the half, and on 39 minutes James Budden did well to head Kieran Turner’s free kick-off the line.
It took just just eight minutes of the second half for Tring to find the equaliser. The dangerous Turner took on Joe Horwood on the left side of the penalty area before cutting inside and hitting a shot which beat Craig Garrett at his near post.
There were a couple of chances for Leverstock to retake the lead. On 79 minutes a good ball from Budden gave Reece Cameron the chance to run at goal, but his shot was saved by Evans.
A minute later Leverstock won a free-kick just outside the box; Donaldson curled the his effort around the wall but Evans pulled off another great save to turn it away.
The game was still level going into the last minute, and when Lee Stobbs fired well over the bar from a good position it looked like it was going to end with a point apiece.
However, in the first minute of stoppage time Stobbs had another chance when a cross came in from the left touchline, and this time he connected with a shot that beat Garrett to win the match.
Tring’s victory sees them sitting in 11th place in the SSML Premier Division table, while Leverstock are 10 points further back in 16th position.
Tring Athletic: 1. Matt Evans, 2. Kevin McManus, 3. Bertie Squires-Adams, 4. Ryan McMahon (12. Chris Mason 84 mins), 5. Dan Steadman (14. Jack Westlake 61 mins), 6. David O’Connor, 7. Lee Stobbs, 8. Sam Joliffe, 9. Joe Naylor (17. Adrian Fontenelle 71 mins), 10. Kieran Turner, 11. Luke Dunston. Subs not used: 15. Stuart Stedman, 16. Matt Jarvis.
Leverstock Green: 1. Craig Garrett, 2. Joe Horwood, 3. Gavin Smith, 4. Liam O’Keefe, 5. James Budden, 6. Timi Salako, 7. Curtis Donaldson, 8. Jack Gilmartin (14. Jack Halcomb 83 mins), 9. Chris Blunden, 10. Louis Bircham, 11. Chinua Phinn-Archer (15. Reece Cameron 67 mins). Subs not used: 12. Lee Faulkner, 16. Jon Davies, 17. Tommy Walsh.