Tring Athletic held to FA Vase stalemate by Burton Park Wanderers

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Tring Athletic will do it all again in the FA Vase against Burton Park Wanderers after 120 minutes of football failed to find a winner in Saturday’s first round qualifying clash.

Wanderers visit the Grass Roots Stadium on Tuesday night for the reply to decide who will take their place in the next round of the competition.

The Northants side, who share their stadium with Southern League Premier Division outfit Kettering Town, play in the United Counties League Division One.

They have had a poor start to the season but they defended very well to restrict Athletic to few chances and could have snatched a surprise winner right at the end of normal time.

It was a frustrating afternoon for Athletic, whose form has dipped in recent matches, and although they dominated possession they lacked their normal cutting edge in front of goal.

Tring started well, taking the game to their hosts, and Kevin McManus saw one effort deflected over the bar following a good move, before Chris Vardy rounded the keeper but hit the side netting from a tight angle.

A neat back-heel from Vardy set up Kieran Turner who was denied by a great save from the keeper who tipped the shot onto the bar and over.

The home side were relying on quick breaks and their left-back fizzed a long range shot just over.

A defensive error presented Leigh Chapman with a chance but Tring keeper Matt Evans produced a great save to tip the shot round the post.

Vardy had an opportunity just before the break to opening the scoring but his well placed shot forced a great save from the keeper.

The home side forced three successive corners at the start of the second half but Athletic soon took control of the game again.

However, despite dominating possession and territory they failed to pierce the home back line or test their keeper as time and again promising moves and opportunities were repelled by dogged home defending.

There was nearly a sting in the tail for Athletic when deep into time added on Steve Goode crashed a shot against their bar.

The game went into extra-time and it was more of the same, with Tring unable to break the deadlock as Vardy headed a cross from McManus just wide.

The game ended on an unsavoury note when Burton’s Leigh Chapman was given a straight red card for a late challenge but he didn’t go quietly, deciding to headbutt an Athletic player before leaving the field.

It was a frustrating and disappointing afternoon for the Athletic players but they have another opportunity on Tuesday to put that right, when hopefully they will have some of their missing players back.

Burton Park Wanderers: 1 Brad Stewart 2 Sam Hearn 3 Shane Hawkins 4 Adam Church 5 Carl Moran 6 Michael Tolton (Capt) 7 Charley Evans (15 Jimmy Simpson 74) 8 Jordan Watt 9 Leigh Chapman 10 Liam Nicell (17 Luke Hearn 65) 11 Sean King (14 Steve Goode 80). Subs not used: 12 Harry Lloyd 16 Bradley Kineton.

Tring Athletic: 1 Matt Evans 2 Kevin McManus 3 Stuart Stedman 4 Dan Steadman (Capt) 5 Matt Jarvis (16 Paul Jeffrey 86) 6 Sam Joliffe 7 Ollie Hogg 8 Chris Mason (15 Ryan Sturges 72) 9 Chris Vardy 10 Kieran Turner 11 Bertie Squires-Adams (12 Vinnie Iannone 60). Subs not used: 14 Jack Sunderland 17 Ryan McMahon.