Ten-man Tring Athletic went down 3-1 to SSML Premier Division leaders Ampthill Town in their fourth home game in the space of a week.
Athletic were forced into making changes to the starting line-up and the first half was a largely uneventful, affair, although Ampthill’s Warren Garcia came close with a shot that came back off the post.
The only goal of the half arrived in the 19th minute when the visitors broke the deadlock as Christian Lester headed in from a corner.
Tring’s best chance of the half fell to skipper Graham Hall who collected a throw-in and then volleyed narrowly wide of Martyn Conway’s goal.
The second half was a much more exciting spectacle than the first, with Athletic netting an equaliser less than a minute after the re-start.
The ball was played out to the left to Taylor Collins who crossed first-time towards Chris Vardy. He cleverly dummied the ball at the near post and Hall was on hand to stroke home past Conway.
Athletic were beginning to get on top and Ryan Sturges volleyed just wide following a free-kick, while Hall was a continuous threat.
Athletic introduced Ollie Butler from the bench in the 58th minute, but it was Ampthill who struck next against the run of play.
A long punt out of defence caught the Athletic defence napping and the ball fell kindly to Danny Watson who lobbed Tring keeper Craig Garrett to put his side in front.
Stewart King came on for Tring to replace the injured David Salmon, but the visitors wrapped up the win soon afterwards.
Garrett parried a shot to Danny Watson and he made no mistake from close range – with the Tring keeper then red-carded in the aftermath of the goal.
Paul Jeffrey took over in goal and only had one save to make from a close range effort from Tyrone Taylor as the game drifted to its conclusion.
Athletic arguably deserved to have got something out of the game, especially after the effort they put into the first period of the second half.
They now have a few days off to regroup before visiting Hoddesdon Town on Saturday afternoon.
The Tring Reserves, meanwhile, won 2-0 at Newport Pagnell in their last outing.
Tring took the lead in the 37th minute when Matt Myatt played the ball over the top and Leo Mullet latched onto it before expertly lobbing the keeper.
And Athletic doubled their lead shortly after half-time.
Mullet’s pace got him free again and he was hauled down just as he was about to pull the trigger. He got up to convert the penalty for his 10th goal of an impressive season.
From then on, Tring were in complete control and comfortably held on to earn three valuable points