Tring let standards slip in Biggleswade defeat

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Tring Athletic’s terrific run of results this season has been built on being solid, organised and competitive but they let their standards drop against Biggleswade United who played well and deserved their 3-1 victory on Saturday.

Athletic went into the SSML Premier game with a decent record at United, with just one defeat from 19 visits, but they were uncharacteristically open in defence and shipped two goals within the opening 20 minutes.

They pulled a goal back but struggled to find an equaliser and a third goal from United 15 minutes from time knocked any hopes of a comeback on the head.

Ironically it was Athletic who should have opened the scoring when after only two minutes Kieran Turner just failed to get on the end of a corner to the far post and then a minute later he was denied by a superb save from the keeper after being set up by a fine pass from Chris Stapleton.

But it was United who struck first in the fourth minute when David Iwediuno broke down the flank cut inside a challenge and struck a nice finish past keeper Jack Hopwood.

Athletic then had to withstand some pressure and in the 21st minute conceded a second when home captain Martin Russell headed home a corner.

Tring should have reduced the deficit two minutes later when Lee Stobbs latched onto a through pass from Stapleton to round the keeper then pull the ball back to Chris Vardy whose shot was blocked on the line by a defender who managed to get back quickly and cover his keeper.

It was a great opportunity missed, but Athletic made up for it on the half hour when they did bring themselves right back into contention with a goal. Again it was Stapleton who set up the opportunity with a cross that Vardy touched past the keeper.

Athletic started to probe the home defence particularly down their right through Stobbs but the score remained the same until the half time whistle.

The next goal was going to be crucial and Athletic started the second half intent on claiming it. They applied the pressure but despite dominated possession they failed to test the United keeper. Gradually the home side started to get back into ​the game and in the 75th minute they grabbed the all important third goal when their leading scorer Nick Elliot broke away down the right and fired a shot past Jack Hopwood from an acute angle.

It was a disappointing result and performance from Athletic who were well below their best. This was only their second away defeat in the league and they still remain eighth in the table with games in hand that could see them move up a couple more places.

They will hope that this result was just a blip as they have some key fixtures coming up starting with a home game against Holmer Green on Tuesday in the League Cup followed by a local derby at Berkhamsted on December 27, after then their much anticipated FA Vase game in the New Year.

Teams:

BU: 1 Tom Wyant 2 Kane Farrell 3 Matt Cooper 4 Jordan Wright 5 Martin Russell (Capt) 6 Nick Elliot 7 Daryl Ngwala 8 Paul Donald (16 Kevin Owusu 53) 9 David Iwediuno (15 Jaiden Irish 81) 10 Lusunga Ndovi (14 Antonio Mitri 72) 11 Gareth Hunt. Subs not used: 12 Lee Bilcock GK Reece Voller.

TA: 1 Jack Hopwood 2 Tommy Twelves 3 Chris Mason 4 George Brinkman (12 Jamie Warne 80) 5 Dan Steadman (Capt) 6 David O’Connor (15 Lessa Boka 65) 7 Lee Stobbs 8 Sam Joliffe 9 Chris Vardy 10 Kieran Turner (14 George Carbery 70) 11 Chris Stapleton.

Scorers:

BU: David Iwediuno (4), Martin Russell (21), Nick Elliot (75)

TA: Chris Vardy (30)