Tring Athletic frustrated as Colney Heath make a point

Chris Vardy, centre, was on target for Tring
Chris Vardy, centre, was on target for Tring
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Tring Athletic were held to a 1-1 draw by struggling Colney Heath in Saturday’s SSML Premier Division game at The Recreation Ground.

Athletic started well, with Ryan Sturges having a chance after seven minutes, however it was the home side who opened the scoring.

A quick ball forward was crossed into the Tring area, keeper Matt Evans punched clear, but the loose ball was picked up by Colney Heath and played back into the goal area where Joe Longworth headed home.

Following this early setback, Athletic began to dominate possession; a number of chances were created and missed but finally they were rewarded with the equaliser.

Colney Heath’s central defenders were favourites to win a long ball forward from Luke Dunstan but appeared to get in each others’ way, allowing Chris Vardy to run through and slot the ball past keeper Oliver Leslie.

Athletic continued to dominate, winning seven corners during the first half with none against, however the half ended with just a goal apiece.

Sturges found himself in front of goal soon after the restart, but his shot was saved by the legs of keeper Oliver Leslie.

Dunstan limped off in the 52nd minute to be replaced by Sam Joliffe, followed a short while after by Lee Stobbs – back from injury – who came on for Stuart Stedman.

Athletic continued to push forward, hitting high balls into the area following continued success down the flanks, but the Colney defenders always had the upper hand with their height advantage.

In the 83rd minute Athletic looked as if they would score the winning goal they fully deserved. A superb pass by Ollie Hogg found Vardy who rounded the keeper but delayed his shot, allowing a defender to clear.

In the 86th minute Colney Heath nearly stole the points following a rare attack; Ed Gray found space on the right of Athletic’s defence before shooting past Evans. With the Tring players and supporters holding their breath, the ball struck the post and was cleared to safety.