Sudden death in the Shield as Tring go out

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Tring Athletic 1 
Hoddesdon Town 1
(6-7 on penalties)

Tring Athletic were hit by the curse of the penalty shoot-out as they crashed out of the Herts Charity Shield at the first hurdle.

With the scores locked at 1-1 after 90 minutes, the game went straight to penalties, and Tring’s Matt Jarvis missed his side’s crucial eighth penalty to hand Hoddesdon a 7-6 victory.

It was Athletic who had made the brighter start of the two teams, with Reon Thomas twice coming close in the opening exchanges.

Both teams were playing attacking football, but moves were breaking down and the game became scruffy as the half progressed.

Athletic had to wait nearly half hour before they won their first corner, but Julian Robinson’s side nearly made it count as Jarvis headed narrowly wide.

Dave Whicker felt he should have been awarded a penalty soon afterwards, and Reon Thomas was also brought down, but neither appeal ended in a spot-kick.

Hoddesdon were looking dangerous from crosses, but Tring came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock as Paul Jeffrey’s free-kick was tipped onto the post, before Graham Hall’s follow-up effort was also well-saved.

Athletic had another call for a penalty turned down when they felt Thomas had been fouled, and Hoddesdon rubbed salt in their wounds with the opening goal shortly before half-time.

The visitors were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area, and Ben Andreos stepped up to send his effort into the bottom corner of the net.

Hoddesdon continued to press after the interval, with Andreos seeing his shot deflected into Tring keeper Mike Underwood’s arms, before the forward came close with another two efforts soon afterwards..

Gradually, however, Tring forced their way back into the game and bagged the equaliser in the 69th minute.

Good play between Hall and George House led to the ball falling nicely to Thomas in the area, and the Tring hit-man fired home to restore parity,

Athletic had yet another call for a penalty turned down when Thomas appeared to be upended in the area, but with no further goals, the game progressed to a penalty shoot-out.

Both sides missed penalties as the shoot-out went to sudden death, but it was Jarvis’ miss that proved costly as Hoddesdon booked their place in the next round of the competition.