TRING Athletic recorded a 3-2 victory over Hadley in a scrappy encounter at the Grass Roots Stadium.
Graham Hall, Tony Field and Andy Hughes were on target for Athletic, but the side made it difficult for themselves by conceding two soft first half goals.
Julian Robinson’s Tring side started brightly in the opening exchanges, but it was Hadley who took the lead with eight minutes on the clock.
Athletic midfielder Sam Mitchell attempted a pass back to keeper Mike Underwood – only to under-hit the ball and gift a chance to Hadley’s Sean Ridgeway who had no trouble in putting his side ahead.
Athletic won a number of corners and free kicks as they searched for an equaliser, and the hosts finally got their reward in the 30th minute.
Mitchell made amends for his earlier mistake by finding Hall with a free-kick, and the latter headed home to level the scores.
Athletic were visibly buoyed by the goal, but despite a sustained spell of pressure on the Hadley goal, it was the visitors who struck next to regain the lead.
The home defence was caught out as a lobbed ball forward saw Darren Turner dart between two defenders before finishing well.
Athletic pressed for an equaliser in the second half, and Mitchell and Hall both came close before Field levelled the scores from the spot.
Substitute Danny Gray was felled in the area, and Field stepped up to drill the ball into the net.
Tring continued to press and were rewarded with what proved to be the winning goal in the 69th minute.
Again Gray was the architect – sending over a corner to find Hughes who headed home.